“A buddy of mine that had to take heart medication ended up in hospital,” he told Digital Trends. “I started developing a little locked medicine box for his pills to be stored in, which could be unlocked using a phone. At some point, there was an ‘aha!’ moment and I realized that we should really be building portable locks, where the phone becomes your key.”
Jump forward in time, and a neat homemade hack Zastrow built to help out a friend in need has developed into a smart lock that turns any drawer or cupboard into a mini-safe. Called the Smart Cube, the $69-plus gadget is currently raising funds on Indiegogo, where it’s already proven to be a big hit.
“The beauty of the Smart Cube is that you can take it anywhere,” Zastrow said. “It’s portable, has a very simple installation process, and can retrofit into any current situation. Being able to take any cabinet or drawer that you already own and have the ability to lock it is really useful.”
The lock itself is constructed using a fiber-infused ABS polycarbonate blend, which makes it simultaneously lightweight and durable. According to Zastrow, it’s capable of withstanding 100 pounds of force. “We’ve tried smashing it with sledgehammers and it hasn’t broken, so I’m confident saying that it’s a tough unit,” he said.
The mechanism relies on two pieces: the Smart Cube itself and a dongle. When the dongle enters the SmartCube, a locking guillotine slides into the grooves of the dongle, thereby locking it in place. It is then opened using a smartphone app, via Bluetooth. “You can access it with the numeric PIN code, through biometrics, or even set up proximity settings so it automatically unlocks when you’re within five feet of it,” Zastrow said. “Then when you walk away again it locks up again.” Usefully, the lock will even alert you if a cabinet is unlocked or the lock is tampered with.
We’ve not personally had the opportunity to use the Smart Cube just yet, but it’s certainly a neat idea that is evidently having no problem finding a market.
It’s probably the wrong way to speak about smart locks, but when it comes to this particular conundrum, it sounds like Justin Zastrow has cracked it!