Unlock your doors with an iPhone

Here's a $149 gadget that you can mount over a door's deadbolt so you can turn the knob via your iphone.

Lockitron is an attachment you can place on the back of any deadbolt lock in your house that allows you to lock and unlock it remotely via your smartphone. Better than that, if you have your iPhone 5 in your pocket when you approach a Lockitron deadbolt, you don’t have to even have to use your iPhone because it will detect you via Bluetooth 4.0 and unlock automatically.

You can share access to your lock with friends and family so that if you’re not at your house and want to let them in you don’t have to worry about getting them an extra key. The sharing access feature makes it perfect for Airbnb customers.

Cult of Mac: Lockitron Wants To Replace Your House Keys With Your iPhone 5


  1. I can’t tell if it’s good judgement of rampant cynicism, but my first impression is deep distrust.  Extreme, deep, abiding distrust.

    1.  Gee, what could possibly go wrong!

       Open the freaking pod bay doors HAL!

      Sorry Dave, I am afraid can not do that.

      Open the door before I rip your brains chips out!

    2. Like, why don’t people designing things like this make them self-contained? This thing logs open/unlock events on their servers! Your fancy smartphone app communicates with their servers, which then communicate with your front door! 

      That adds several avenues of attack for the dubious “benefit” of logging your comings and goings in a subpoena’able location.

  2. It seems to me way easier, and more likely, for someone to figure out how to spoof this than to pick your lock or break down your door.

    1. Then certainly don’t use car and apartment complex FOBs…


      Obviously, nothing is foolproof, but the convenience of this seems to outweigh the slightly higher security risks.  And, which is worse?  Giving a copy of a key to your deadbolt or temporary electronic access that can be revoked after their access isn’t desired anymore?  Also, it’s probably nice having a record of who (and when) accesses your home and/or business.

      1. Apartment complex FOBs? Those are a thing? I live in a fairly new complex myself but even the public areas use physical keys.

        1. Here in Denver (Capitol Hill) they are around. For our condo, we have a FOB for the main entrance to the building, then for access to the pool and workout area. There’s a buzzer for the “party room”, heh. And, I know of many other places around town that require a FOB for access to pools, main entrances/gates, laundry facilities, workout rooms, etc.

          So at least in this neck of the woods is seems to be a thing now. It’s certainly not great that access to these places are tracked, but I guess it’ll give me somewhat of an alibi if I need one. ^_^

    2. I rather doubt it’s easier. People who know how to pick locks generally seem to evaluate the security of most household locks as somewhere between weak and risible. I had occasion to have one of my house’s locks picked a few years back and it was educational to see how fast the locksmith had it open. 

      However, a related point is true, which is that with software, only one person in the world has to figure out how to break it. Everyone else can download the rootkit (or locky equivalent). So, harder for one person, easier for everyone else… assuming the one person works it out and releases the crack to the world.

      On the other other hand, if it were really that easy cars would be even much more insecure than they already are. They virtually all use electronic locks, and many (especially many expensive ones) use electronic ignition. 

      But see the post below about how breaking the door or finding an unlocked entrance (or a neighboring house with an unlocked entrance) is easier anyway. 

    3.  Actually, locks aren’t all that great… it would actually probably be easier to get through the lock than to bother learning the technical skills to unlock these. Though they do add a brand new insecurity without fixing the other insecurities. (^_^ Plus now you don’t just have to worry about loosing your keys, you also have to worry about losing your cell phone and using it to get into your house.)


  3. Personally I put my car insurance insurance in my garage door opener to use as a keychain for my house keys. Slightly more secure because any thief that finds it might not know how to read.

  4. Eh, breaking the door or searching for an unlocked entrance is quicker than breaking this or picking a lock. It’s about speed over elegance with stealing stuff. This is just as safe as anything else IMO.

    I’m curious what prevents your iPhone from automatically unlocking the door as you walk away from your freshly locked door.

  5. “it will detect you via Bluetooth 4.0 and unlock automatically”
    and if I am on my couch, with my phone, and want the door locked…

  6. Wait, the new iPhone doesn’t even have NFC… ? 

    / NCF: 4cm or less, Bluetooth 4.0: within a ‘short range’ of up to 50 metres.
    // Also, what happened to Android at home?…

  7. I use a Schlage Electronic Keypad lock.  I can keep the main code for myself and family, and issue special, disableable (if that’s a word) codes to temporary guests.  I don’t need it to be hands-free, since I need a hand to turn the doorknob anyway.  But I don’t need keys (though I have one in the unlikely event the lock’s battery dies before I get around to changing it), and I don’t have to worry about wireless spoofing.  I just cover the buttons, like I do at the ATM, and hope for the best.

    Phones have too much ambition these days.  I don’t want mine even playing music anymore.

  8. Check your local building codes relating to ‘electronic’ locks.  Certain things like magnetic locks and key-card/FOB systems are not allowed on certain doors (dedicated fire exits for example).

    And you need to make sure the motor is strong enough to turn the deadbolt.  Some doors have very thick gaskets and there is considerable pressure on the side of the bolt and the striker plate.  During the Winter, my back door needs to be pulled/pushed closed when using a key.  No way this device would have enough crank.

  9. Cool. So we’d only to find the iphone 5 owners that have small enough houses to be out of range of their deadbolts to have a chance at regular entry? (*ahem* if you have to inform your door lock that you are home and to stop automatically unlocking every time you’re in range, I think you’ve already lost the point….*ahem*)

  10. As someone who has unlocked my front door with my phone for over two years now, I can tell you that it is worth it as a reasonable experience. Now, given I used foursquare, rather than nfc or bluetooth, but eventually I replaced that with an sms gateway + a few other methods. I love purposefully making a back door to my front door.

    http://apartm.net/door/ for more info on the back story.

  11. Wow! Why go to the expense of getting someone an extra key, when you can spend $149 on this gadget and then find out they don’t have a compatible smart-phone! :o)

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