It’s been almost two years since Sony launched a crowdfunding campaign for Qrio Smart Lock on Makuake, a sort of Kickstarter in Japan. Claiming to be the smallest smart lock available, Qrio is retrofittable and lets you open your front door (or, we suppose, your bathroom door if you really wanted) with your smartphone.
Now, the popularity of the smart lock has brought it back to a crowdfunding platform, and hopefully, into the American market. On Monday, Qrio made its debut on Indiegogo, where it’s being sold for $248 to American backers.
Slipping over the existing hardware on your door, you don’t even need a screwdriver to install Qrio, according to the Wall Street Journal. It uses an adhesive that apparently won’t damage the door, so it can be used in rental houses, or temporarily on a stairwell door if you’re having an exclusive rooftop party. Anyone who has the encrypted key can use their smartphone to unlock the door. (We’ll admit, we’re not quite sure how to get the smart look off the door, because the crowdfunding page is all in Japanese.)
While there are lots of other smart locks entering the market, Sony seems to have made a winner, thanks to initial feedback from users on Makuake.
This isn’t the first time Sony has turned to crowdfunding; it did so for the FES Watch, hiding behind its offshoot brand Fashion Entertainments to “test the real value of the” e-ink product, as one representative told WSJ at the time.
This time around, Sony went ahead and put its name on the (very bottom of the) Makuake site. Even if Sony hadn’t done so, it might not have been too difficult to figure out the company was involved; Sony named its dancing robot from the early 2000s Qrio.
Last time Qrio turned to crowdfunding, it managed to exceed its goal in just one day, and this time, the smart lock is hoping to raise $50,000 over the course of two months.
Article originally published in December 2014. Updated on 10-17-2016 by Lulu Chang: Added news of Qrio’s U.S. debut on Indiegogo.
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