Unless you’re an enraged motorist, there’s plenty of good to be found in the current push for big city bike sharing programs. BitLock is certainly in keeping with the spirit of such initiatives, albeit on a much more localized scale. The proposed product is essentially a standard bike U-lock that communicates with Android and iOS devices — get within proximity and click the unlock button on an approved handset and the BitLock opens up for you. The device is, thankfully, weather-resistant and has a battery that should last up to five years, according to claims (and you’ll get a notification on your phone when it’s finally ready to shuffle off this mortal coil).
What’s more interesting here, however, is that the device is being couched as a form of low-entry bike sharing, as you can have multiple users sign up for a single lock. The app will note where the bike is left on a map, so you or a pal with access can locate it later — and GPS also gives the app some health-tracking capabilities, which are all the rage. The locks, not surprisingly, won’t be cheap — the base Kickstarter pledge to get your hands on one is $89, and the proposed retail price is $140. That’s $55 more than an annual Citi Bike membership, for you New Yorkers keeping track.