After a long day at work, the last thing you want to do is fumble to unlock your bike before commuting home. The BitLock makes unlocking much easier and faster by turning your smartphone into a virtual bike key.
First, the smartphone must be enabled with bluetooth and set up on the BitLock app. This will allow the BitLock to verify your identity when approaching your bike. Once you hit the button on the BitLock bike lock, your bike will automatically unlock.
The BitLock is compatible with the new iPhones and older iOS 6 models, as well as Android devices. The app allows users to look up their bike locations through GPS, share their bike location with other users, and even unlock their bike for another BitLock user. The app also tracks different bike statistics, including how many miles ridden, calories burned, and CO2 emissions saved each day, week or month. The BitLock is waterproof and has a five-year battery life.
Currently, BitLock is in the early phases of production and manufacturing by Mesh Motion Inc. based in San Francisco. The project hopes to be funded by a Kickstarter campaign that has so far raised over $40,000. The campaign has until Nov. 14 to reach its funding goal of $120,000.
Those contributing $99 or more will receive a BitLock delivered to their door, and those paying $149 or more will be able to choose a BitLock in custom colors, including Kickstarter green, orange, red, pink, brown and black. The retail price will eventually be $140, and the app will be free for download on iTunes or Google Play.
Mehrdad Majzoobi is the lead engineer and founder of Mesh Motion Inc. He emphasized that BitLock will allow local communities to set up low cost bike sharing programs.
“Similar to many people, I crave a future which our phones replace our wallets and keychains. But what fascinated me most about this idea are the services it can enable. The social and environmental impact of bike sharing go way beyond carrying one less key,” said Majzoobi in an email to Mashable.
Image: Mesh Motion Inc.