A French startup named HAVR has made the BrightLock, the first smart lock that connects through LiFi. LiFi enables users to unlock their doors with the light from their smartphones. Unlike most smart locks, which are often plagued by wavelength interferences, light signals are more secure than common radio-frequencies. Users will only have to flash their phone to unlock their doors, as opposed to entering a passcode. In addition, users can share access with whoever they want for specific or unlimited periods of time.
Aside from flashing one’s smartphone, users can also unlock the BrightLock using a physical key or a BrightKey for those without a smartphone. The BrightLock can be installed with all European cylinders without professional help or drilling. Encompassed in a safe cylinder manufactured by Thirard, a lock manufacturer, the BrightLock has tamper protection which prevents it from being picked. From the HAVR app, users can unlock and lock their door, receive mobile notifications, review event history, organize their locks and key-holders into group, and grant access to people via email and SMS. There’s even a do not disturb function to keep the lock from opening.
Unlike Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, which are easily intercepted, LiFi technology is “a secure means of communication because of the unique properties of light,” says John Mears, the company’s Chief Operations Officer. HAVR is the first company to bring light communication to the masses, although the U.S military currently uses LiFi on warships. Code is encrypted into light, which gives phones a unique flash. As the key code will change every single time the lock is used, it prevents intruders from breaking in.
At this time, the BrightLock can be pre-ordered on the HAVR website, but the product should be in retail stores across Europe by August. The lock is compatible with European cylinders, used in both Europe and Asia. Unfortunately, the lock does not work with deadbolts, which most Americans use for their locks. It remains to be seen when the BrightLock will be available in the U.S.
LiFi technology increases security for connected devices, which are notoriously insecure. Earlier this year, researchers found major security flaws in hotel smart locks which would allow a user to open any room in a building with a single key card. As large hotel chains like Marriott begin to integrate smart home platforms like Amazon Alexa into their hotel rooms, the BrightLock’s LiFi technology is a great alternative to shaky Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections.