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Review: Dog and Bone LockSmart
      #48996 - 01/08/16 02:40 AM

LockSmart by Dog and Bone
Reviewed by Jacob Spindel, January 2016

Whatís Hot: Secure and effective; long battery life (and rechargeable); good software; very convenient.
Whatís Not: No backup method?

No one wants to have their stuff stolen. Padlocks have existed for thousands of years, but usually they require either an oh-so-forgettable combination or an oh-so-losable key. However, now that phones and other devices are getting smarter, Dog and Bone thinks that itís time for locks to get smarter too. The LockSmart provides a clever and handy way to protect your property more conveniently, and the idea is so clever that it might just be the wave of the future.

Lockiní Spiel
The LockSmart is a large padlock with no combination dial and no keys. Instead, you simply unlock it with your smartphone, using the app for iOS or Android. The lock is made from stainless steel and zinc alloy, making it strong and durable. Dog and Bone claims it can handle temperatures ranging from -20 degrees C to +70 degrees 70, as well as rain and snow. The lock has a multicolored status indicator light on its face, and at the bottom of the lock are a power button and a microUSB charging port, which are covered by a weatherproof seal (which is, unfortunately, also oh-so-losable).

The app is simple and intuitive to use. The first time you open the app, you will create an account with Dog and Boneís web site. Next, you turn the lock on and pair it with your phone via Bluetooth 4.0. You can share a lock across multiple accounts (so multiple people can use their phones to unlock the same lock), and you can also connect multiple locks to a single account. You can even assign an image or avatar to each lock you have listed in the app. Once you have paired the lock with your phone, simply choose your authentication method: You can choose to use no additional security, a PIN, or TouchID.

That's all there is to it: Just get your phone within 5 meters of the LockSmart, and now you can tap on your phone screen (and enter a PIN or TouchID, if configured), and the lock automatically opens itself, communicating safely and wirelessly through encrypted Bluetooth. The app can also alert you to when other users unlock the lock, as well as when the battery in the lock is running low. Dog and Bone claims the battery can last up to two years per charge. The app also provides an access log and the ability to upgrade the lockís firmware. Alas, there is no AppleWatch app.

The LockSmart is high tech when it comes to locking and unlocking, but in terms of security features, it is essentially a regular padlock. If you were hoping for an alarm or GPS tracking, youíll have to look elsewhere (and probably pay a small fortune in the process).

Out of Lock
Now hereís the part that makes me nervous. The backup method isÖ thereís isnít one. There is no emergency key or non-electronic method of access.

If you lose your phone, thatís not a problem for the lock, because you can log into your account from any device. (There is also a procedure if you forget your password.) However, if the lockís firmware were to crash, or if the electronics were to fail, or if you canít get the app to open on your phone, you are stuck. No problems like this ever occurred during any of our testing; my concern is simply that virtually any computing device can be susceptible to glitches.

Although the software warns you when the battery is getting low, if you ignore those warnings and let the battery die, you will have to charge the lock before you can open it, which might be difficult if your lock is, say, on a public locker.

Love of Locks
I have to admit it: It feels almost magical to tap on my smartphone and then watch the LockSmart automatically pop open. If you are willing to trust that the firmware and software will work correctly, then the LockSmart is far more convenient than adding yet another key to your keychain. Itís a fun, effective, and high-tech way to increase your security.

Price: $89.95
Company: Dog and Bone (


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