Padlocks were invented almost 200 years ago, but they’re still handy for securing bike chains, gym lockers, cabinets, and garden sheds. Most padlocks still require that you carry a key or remember a combination. Smart padlocks like the Tapplock lite let you forget your keys and combinations in favor of faster unlocking methods.
You can unlock the versatile Tapplock lite in less than 0.8 seconds, according to the company, using any of three methods: Fingerprints, Bluetooth proximity, and Morse code.The Tapplock lite also adds convenience features such as permanent and limited-time lock access for other people.
The Tapplock lite’s capacitive sensor recognizes fingerprints faster and more accurately with repeated use thanks to an adaptive algorithm that continues to learn. You can store up to 100 different fingerprints via the Tapplock mobile app, which lets you manage users and fingerprints. Few buyers will likely need to accommodate 100 different users, but you might want to store multiple prints for each user. For example, unless you remember which finger’s print you stored in the device, you can store prints for both index fingers and perhaps both thumbs as well.
When you configure users for Tapplock lite fingerprint access, you can allocate permanent access or specify a limited duration by date and time. If you have rental property, for example, or want to give someone access to a garden shed or swimming pool entry gate, the limited duration feature lets you set the start and end dates and times so you don’t have to remember to remove someone from the access list later.
If you want to share access to the Tapplock lite with people you won’t meet in person, which often happens with rental properties, shared Bluetooth access is the most convenient method. When a renter is within Bluetooth range of the lock, for example, they can open the Tapplock app to gain access. The third Tapplock lite access method uses Morse Code. You can set a unique combination to open the lock, again using the mobile app. Regardless of the access method you grant other people, you can revoke access rights and change the access dates and times with the app.
The mobile app does more than assist with assigning and managing users and padlock access methods. You can also track access history to find out where and when a specific user opened the lock. The Tapplock lite runs for up to eight months on a single charge, according to the company. Tapplock bases the battery life estimate on approximately 1,200 unlocks. You can monitor the battery power level with the Tapplock app, and when the level drops below 10%, an LED on the lock blinks red.
On the off chance the Tapplock lite battery runs down entirely, you’re not stuck. You can plug any portable power pack with a USB connection into a micro-USB port on the lock. According to Tapplock, 8 seconds charging time is sufficient to open the lock.
The Tapplock lite comes in three color combinations. All Tapplock lite padlocks have a black body, but you can choose from red, black, and yellow accents. The locks cost $59 for one, $109 for a 2-pack, and $159 for a Tapplock lite 3-pack.
The Tapplock lite is, no surprise here, the lighter of the company’s two smart padlocks — Tapplock calls it a “lifestyle lock.” The original Tapplock one had a variety of security problems including case materials, assembly integrity, and insecure internal software. Tapplock replaced the first model with the Tapplock one+ earlier this year to address all of the security concerns with the original.