If you’re not a huge fan of the idea of luggage that can be opened by any one who sees it, a new type of lock could be handy, unlocked only by a phone.
Produced by the Australian peripheral company Dog & Bone, it’s a gadget that appears to be a world first, as the group expands on its Bluetooth padlock from last year with a lock made for luggage that does more or less the same thing.
If you’re not familiar with the idea, a Bluetooth lock is like any old regular lock, except instead of needing a physical key to undo the lock, you rely on a Bluetooth transmission, specifically one transmitted by an app.
For the Dog & Bone LockSmart, that was a transmission from its Android and iOS app to open its large and regular sized padlocks, meaning you didn’t need a key if you wanted to open the lock, but just a phone. The lock itself needed power, but in case it ran out, it could be recharged using a microUSB port in under a sealed rubber flap. Easy.
The LockSmart is a fairly large padlock, though, so you can’t just use it for luggage, and thanks to regulations by the Transportation Security Administration in America, you probably wouldn’t want to.
Travelling through the USA, you’ll find if the lock can’t be opened by the TSA approved lock, the people there will just cut the bolt and remove the lock by force, throwing out a rather expensive Bluetooth lock in the process.
Fortunately, Dog & Bone has a solution: a travel sized and TSA approved Bluetooth lock.
This one is called the “LockSmart Travel”, and it’s basically what the name suggests: a pint-sized travel edition of the Dog & Bone LockSmart lock, attachable to a piece of luggage and unlocked using a smartphone app. There are no physical keys needed for this gadget, but there is a TSA lock port on the lock so the crew at the TSA can unlock your luggage if they need to check what’s inside.
“LockSmart Travel is much more than a standard padlock and puts frequent travellers at ease knowing their belongings are safe and secure,” said Maria Ranchod, Co-Founder of Dog & Bone.
“No small keys to carry around from flight to flight, and access can be given to anyone in the world with the press of a button.”
With the LockSmart Travel, it is worth noting that you’ll need a bit of power in your phone or tablet if you do want to unlock the lock, since the app needs to be running. That said, once you do, it’s an easy path to unlocking the lock, and then you can go about on your business.
As for the price, Dog & Bone hasn’t confirmed it yet, but it has said that it will be available early this year, so if you have holiday plans in the next few months, this may well be one of those must haves.