One of the caveats of converting your home into a “smart” space is that you essentially have to replace the devices, items, and components you have already invested in with updated tech. So, for example, if you want to install a smart lock on one of your doors, you generally have to replace the existing lock—which is likely working just fine as is.
A smart, Wi-Fi-enabled video doorbell simply replaces your regular analog doorbell entirely for one with more features.
But what if you don’t want to replace your old equipment and components? What if you’d like to add smart functionality to your existing setup? Believe it or not, it is possible and becoming more common.
Queue Locky, an external casing or fob-like device that turns any conventional physical key into a smart one. In contrast to smart door locks, it effectively allows you to add smart features to any regular key while the existing lockset itself stays in place. One of the added features, for instance, will enable you to track the key’s whereabouts through a mobile app in the event you misplace it or leave it behind somewhere.
What is Locky?
Locky is nothing more than a smart, unique housing for your key. Embedded within are Bluetooth, smart sensors, and remote connectivity.
One particular benefit—as previously noted—is that you can track the whereabouts of your Locky-equipped key using a mobile app. But, you can also see the status of a connected door lock, based on your last interaction.
Unlike most smart locks, Locky can track the status and information for multiple doors or entryways all from the same smart key housing. You just have to attach a special Locky Bluetooth beacon to each individual door lock you’d like to track.
If you forgot to lock the door after leaving your home, the Locky technology would send you an alert. And if you misplaced your key with its Locky housing, a speaker inside the housing will make noise or send audible alerts to help you find it.
This is nearly identical to the support offered by a smart garage door opener, which will let you know when your garage door has opened, closed, or left open for extended periods. Having both smart devices adds an extra measure of safety to your entryways. So, when you install these types of devices in your home, you can significantly improve security and awareness even when you’re hundreds of miles away.
Not Without Caveats
Locky is a cool device that gives new meaning to standard door keys and locks—without the hassle of having to install a functional smart lock. Of course, there is a downside to using something like this over the alternative.
Certainly, Locky will tell you if you forgot to lock your door, but if you’ve already left home, you’re out of luck—the door will stay as is. Comparatively, smart devices and smart locks allow you to connect remotely from a mobile device, even miles away.
With smart locks—like those from August Home, Schlage, or Yale—you could check the status and also lock the door to secure your home. With Locky, you get a reminder from the app, but that’s all it can do. You’ll have to return to your home and lock the door yourself.
Still, the added convenience of knowing the status of regular locks may be just enough to warrant grabbing one or more of these—especially if you have no desire to upgrade to an actual smart lock.
If you’re interested, you can pre-order the device at 50 percent off through Kickstarter, a crowdfunding platform. Generally, crowdfunded projects are hit or miss, but Locky has already been fully funded in having far surpassed its initial $10,000 funding goal.
If manufacturing of Locky goes as planned, the first pre-order shipments are estimated to go out sometime in February 2019—after which the device should be commercially available to everyone. Keep in mind, however, a certain risk comes with crowdfunded projects that could see the actual release delayed. Locky is expected to sell for $79 when commercially released.
Kayla Matthews is a technology journalist and productivity blogger. She is a senior writer for MakeUseOf and the owner and editor of her tech productivity blog, Productivity Bytes. You can read more by Kayla at Inc.com, VentureBeat, DMN, and more.