Bog & Bone Locks­mart Mini

Tech Advisor - - Contents -

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.

De­sign

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.

Fea­tures

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).

Verdict

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.

Lewis Painter

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