We've talked about bike locks a lot on TreeHugger. A good lock is essential if you're going to use your bike around town because bikes are one of the most frequently stolen objects. They're often easy targets because many locks can easily be picked or severed, but lately there have been many smart bike locks come on the market that bring high tech solutions to that problem. The locks have to be unlocked using a smartphone, use GPS to track your bike if it's stolen and more.
Those locks are great, but the truth is, the future has always been the fingerprint bike lock and with fingerprint recognition coming to our phones, it was only a matter of time. Having a fingerprint scanner ensures you're the only one unlocking your bike and it's also the simplest way -- no keys, combinations or smartphone required.
That future is finally here, at least on Kickstarter. The Grasp Lock, developed in partnership with the University of Waterloo engineering department, is a water-resistant, battery-powered smart lock with a built-in fingerprint scanner. The lock works with an app, which is used when first setting up the lock to add approved fingerprints for unlocking, but after that you don't need to use the app day-to-day. You can add up to 20 fingerprints and manage that list at any time, even restricting some users to certain times of day. The app can be used to unlock the bike over Bluetooth if the fingerprint scanner ever malfunctions.
The low-power lock runs on three AAA batteries that the creators say should last a year without needing to be replaced. The app monitors the battery level and tells you when they're getting low. If the batteries die or are removed while your bike is secured, the lock remains closed until you put in new batteries.
The lock was designed much like the better dumb locks out there using hardened steel and with reinforced joints to make it less susceptible to bolt cutters.
Lloyd wrote about the risk of buying a product on Kickstarter when he received a disappointing version of a keyboard he supported and at a much later date than expected. The Grasp team seems to be trying to minimize that risk as much as possible by detailing a year-long timeline from the campaign until products ship, to give room for any errors that pop up along the way.
A pledge of $99 - $129 gets you a Grasp Lock and it's set to retail for $159 after the campaign.