Forget smart locks: Locky makes your keys smarter

locky smart key with smartphone

Smart locks that afford easy keyless access to a home or office can be hacked, and can a pain to install. But what if you put the smarts in a case for a traditional key? Locky, which does just that, promises help for people who want to check whether a door is locked, or locate misplaced keys.

A KickStarter project that achieved full funding in just a couple of hours, Locky consists of a key case that communicates via Bluetooth to a smartphone app. Just slip the top of the key (the part that doesn’t go into the lock) into the case, pair it with the app, and you’re good to go.

There’s also no need to change your key use habits: The bottom of the key folds into the case much the way a pocket knife swivels shut, keeping sharp key edges from scratching purses or clothes.

locky smart key diagram

Locky’s creators, who estimate that the case works with about 90 percent of all keys, describe it as a minimalist home security system that combines the best features of smart locks and key trackers. By following a physical key’s movements, the case can tell whether you’ve locked the door, as well as where you’ve left the key.

Locky’s case is powered by a standard CR2032 battery that the creators say will work for up to two years.

The smartphone app can alert you when you’ve left the key in the door, and you can quickly query it to find out whether the door is locked or unlocked.

The app (for iOS 10.x or Android 5.0 +) supports multiple keys, and can track each key’s locking and unlocking history, so you know who’s been using a key and when they’ve used it. The app can also send notifications to Apple, FitBit, and Wear OS (Android) smart watches.

A master key version of Locky uses beacon stickers to support keys that can unlock multiple doors (say, for example, in an apartment building).

What Locky can’t do is lock or unlock a door remotely, but its creators view this as a feature, not a bug, since this means it can’t be hacked.

Locky expects to ship to its first Kickstarter supporters in January. Projected retail prices are $79 for a single Locky, $199 for a three-pack, and $336 for a three-pack master key system with three beacon stickers.

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