Aesthetically, the new lock looks almost exactly like the oldschool U-lock you know and love — just without any keyholes or combination dials. Instead, it uses its Bluetooth brains to communicate with your smartphone and detect when you’re close by. To open it, just click the lock shaft once and it’ll automatically look for a phone with a compatible Bluetooth key, and then unlock when it finds one. You don’t even need to take your phone out of your pocket.
It’s basically just the brains of the original Noke, conveniently nestled inside a hardened steel U-lock that’s better for storing your bike. This presumably closes the gap left by the original lock, which wasn’t ideal for bike storage because it had to be used with a chain or other cable, leaving it vulerable to anyone with bolt-cutters.
For the most part, it retains the original’s features, but Fuz Labs has also introduced a few new features in the new lock. In addition to things like virtual key sharing and year-long battery life, the U-Lock also sports an integrated alarm system designed to scare off would-be thieves, and GPS tracking to help you remember where you locked your wheels up.
The device exists only in prototype form at this point, but Fuz Labs has once again turned to Kickstarter to raise the funds needed for a full-scale production run. At time of writing it’s about $40k shy of meeting its $100K goal, and has well over a month left in the campaign. So, barring any unforeseen circumstances, it looks like the project will be a success. If you back the project now, you can lock down a Noke U-Lock for about $100.