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No Keys Necessary: Unlock Your Bike with Your Phone

Unlock your bike lock with your phone. Oh, and don't lock your bike like this. Lock it like this.

San Francisco’s tech and bike worlds are both booming, so it’s no surprise that our city’s techies are turning their attention to reinventing the bicycle. Revolights did it with bike lights and up-and-coming company Bitlock is trying to do it with the bike lock.

Bitlock does away with bike keys, and uses BluetoothLE technology to unlock your bike with your phone. It also lets you share your bike with other people for peer-to-peer bike share. And if you forget where you locked your bike (I guess that could happen), the app lets you find your bike as well. Plus, it maps your ride and keeps data on your commute, a la Strava, another local company.

There are certainly some potential pitfalls to a keyless lock: if you lose your phone or the battery dies, you have to use someone else’s to open your bike. But that’s still easier than what happens if you lose your key. And the battery life on the Bitlock does have a five-year shelf life, certainly less than the Kryptonite I’ve been using since college. Still, it’s exciting to see another innovative new bike product coming out of San Francisco.

Want to get your hands on a Bitlock? Their Kickstarter is open for another six days and the company is just $10K short of their $120K goal. Early-bird pledge of $79 will let you get your hands on the first iteration of the locks this summer.