Shepherd Lock, a smart lock from PassiveBolt Inc., has surpassed its $30,000 Kickstarter Goal with over $54,000 in funding so far. The lock turns existing single-cylinder deadbolt hardware into a touch sensor. Locking and unlocking the door with touch alone will work if the user has either a key fob or a smartphone key and is in the “Intelligent Authentication Zone”, an area within five feet of the door frame.
PassiveBolt Inc. founder Kabir Maiga and his colleagues come from the automotive industry, integrating keyless entry automotive technology into a smart lock intended for home usage. As opposed to locks such as the August Smart Lock which involve geofencing dependent on the user’s Bluetooth signal location, the Shepherd Lock requires that the user be within a much smaller zone and that the user actually touches the lock, Maiga said in an interview with Security Baron. He continued,
“Half of the time [geofencing] does not work. If you had a Starbucks in your lobby and your apartment is above, your smart lock could unlock even if you were in the Starbucks stories below. Our technology measures intent as the user actually has to touch the door to lock or unlock it.”
The lock has tamper protection, meaning it can detect, thwart, and alert the user of any picking attempts using artificial intelligence, according to the Shepherd Lock website. The user will be able to tell if the door is locked, unlocked, opened or closed through apps for iPhone and Android. The lock also requires a Wi-Fi bridge that plugs into a wall outlet. As it runs by four AA batteries, installation will not require any drilling.
While development started in June of 2018, the Shepherd Lock is not available for shipment until February 2020, although it can be pre-ordered for $179. As one in four broadband households in the United States intended to buy a smart lock within the next year, according to a survey from Parks Associates, the Shepherd Lock could be a part of this increase in ownership.