Bog & Bone Locksmart Mini
These days our smartphones can be used for far more than simply making phones calls – we can pay for items in shops, control our lights and heating systems, and even remotely view security cameras located in our homes, such as the SpotCam Eva on page 40. So it was only a matter of time before smart Bluetooth padlocks became a ‘thing’. Enter the Dog & Bone Locksmart Mini, a smart Bluetooth padlock.
Before we jump into how it works, we’ll first discuss its design because after all, it still needs to function as a lock. The Locksmart Mini is packed full of smart technology that’s been fitted into a die-cast Zamak-3 zinc alloy body, which the company says is extremely durable, without adding much weight to the lock. It also comes with a hardened steel 7mm shackle. While we’re not claiming to be experts in lock security, the Locksmart feels solid and secure, and we wouldn’t have any worries using this to lock up our bike, lock the shed, and so on.
To help protect the Locksmart Mini even further, it has been cased in (what feels like) rubber to add an extra layer of durability, while helping to improve its weatherproofing capabilities. This means that unlike other smart Bluetooth locks on the market, the Locksmart Mini can be used both indoors and out, and should survive a stint in the rain, hail, snow and sun in temperatures ranging from -20 to +70ºC. This is made possible by a flap at the bottom of the lock that protects the Micro-USB port from any moisture (see left), and it’s important that this is sealed when the lock is in use.
Apart from a small LED indicator that shows when the Locksmart Mini is powered on, the lock is pretty nondescript, although this is far from a bad point. You don’t want all the bells and whistles such as LED lights and on a smart padlock because, to us at least, that would suggest you’re protecting something valuable and no matter how good a lock may be, you don’t want to tempt fate It’s understated, but should do the job well.
The padlock looks to simplify your security needs by providing wireless access to the lock via Bluetooth, negating the need to keep track of keys or a pin to unlock it. While this may be a great solution, consumers are naturally worried about the Bluetooth connection being hacked, providing thieves with an even easier way to steal valuable possessions. While we can’t
To help protect the Locksmart Mini even further, it has been cased in (what feels like) rubber to add an extra layer of durability
speak for all Bluetooth locks, the Locksmart Mini offers the 128-bit Bluetooth encryption standard, which, according to Dog & Bone, is the highest level of protection currently available.
This means that unless you share access with anybody else, your valuables should stay locked up. Those still worried can set up additional security measures via the Locksmart app for iOS and Android, including password protection and even Touch ID protection for iOS users. Unlocking the padlock is straightforward, too – you first need to ensure Bluetooth is active on your smartphone, then all you need to do is open the Locksmart app, press the button on the bottom of the padlock to connect it and tap the icon onscreen to unlock it. If successful, the lock should automatically pop open.
We mentioned shared access above, and it’s a big feature of the Locksmart Mini because it makes sharing padlocks a lot easier, and it also means you won’t have to give everybody a physical key. In fact, you can grant access to your padlock from anywhere in the world, and can revoke it just as easily. Simply invite a shared user from within the app and they’ll receive a text message with a URL explaining how to pair with the lock. The new user simply needs to download the app, create an account and click the link on the web page to gain access to the padlock.
Once users have access to your padlock, you can track exactly who and when somebody accesses it via the smartphone app. This is ideal as it allows users to keep track of exactly who has opened the lock, an important piece of information if anything was to be stolen or broken. It’s just as easy to remove them too – under the shared users pane of the app, simply tap on the name of the person you want to remove and tap ‘Remove access’.
Of course, Bluetooth connectivity requires some level of power. This is supplied via a built-in lithiumion battery, which is charged via a Micro-USB port. While the lock itself doesn’t take very long to charge, it can last up to two years (or around 3,000 unlocks) on a single charge, which is pretty impressive considering that the average battery life for a Bluetooth lock is currently between six months and a year. While we haven’t been able to put this to the test, we’ve had the Bluetooth padlock for around three weeks and the battery life has dropped by just four percent, and that’s with constant use (us showing everybody how cool Bluetooth padlocks are, obviously).
The Dog & Bone Locksmart Mini is a great all-around smart Bluetooth padlock, offering the ability to share access with anybody at any time without the need for keys or a PIN code. The advanced encryption gives us confidence that is won’t be hacked, and the combination of a die-cast zinc alloy body and 7mm hardened steel shackle should protect against ‘traditional’ break-ins. With easy setup, a two-year battery life, weatherproofing abilities and a price tag cheaper than the competition, we’re pretty impressed by the Locksmart Mini.