Instead of a smart lock, Locky makes your key smart

It isn’t always practical or possible to replace a component of your home with smart tech, so plenty of companies are trying to find ways to add smart features to your life by augmenting what you already have. The latest is focused on your key: it’s called Locky, and instead of adding a smart lock to your home, it adds smart features to your regular metal key.

The gadget is basically a housing for your key. Using Bluetooth and some sensors, it’s able to tell when you use it to lock and unlock a door or forget the key entirely and walk away.

That allows for a few different things: Locky’s app can track whether your door is locked or unlocked based on how you’ve used the key. It can alert you if your key goes out of range of your phone. And it also has a speaker, so if you lose the key, the device can make noise to help you find it. It’s also capable of tracking multiple doors that use the same key, as long as you attach a small Bluetooth beacon to each one, so it can identify which lock is which.

The problem is, Locky’s abilities are really limited. So if you get to work and realize you’ve left your door unlocked, there’s nothing you can do. The system isn’t attached to the lock in any way, so you can’t remotely secure your home. At the same time, if you were to manually lock your door by flipping a deadbolt, Locky wouldn’t know that either, so it won’t actually know the state your door is in — just the last way you turned the key.


GIF: Locky

Ultimately, it’s kind of like a glorified Tile, form-fitted to your key. These kinds of hacked-on solutions to add smart features to your home are valuable since they open up the tech to more people, but I’m not sure Locky’s approach will be particularly useful for anyone other than the most forgetful of us. You can get all but the lock / unlock-tracking feature today by just buying any old Bluetooth tracker and attaching it to your keyring. It’d probably be smaller, too.

Locky is running a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter and has already surpassed its $10,000 goal. Units are selling for $55, or bundled with three beacons for tracking multiple locks for $84. It’s offering an aggressive shipping timeline, saying units will start to go out in February. Locky is a new company, though, and it has never shipped a product before, so keep in mind that there’s always a risk of delay with Kickstarter campaigns, particularly from untested startups.

Philips Hue expands to the bathroom with a connected light-up mirror

Philips continues to expand its Hue smart lighting system across the home, and the next stop is the bathroom with the company’s new Adore Bathroom lighted mirror.

The Adore Bathroom mirror will theoretically work as a standalone light-up mirror, but like Hue’s other products, you’ll be able to connect it to the Hue Bridge hub and integrate it into your smart home setup with services like Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit.

Unlike Hue’s more popular smart bulbs, the Adore Bathroom mirror needs to be installed and wired up directly to the wall as a single unit. And crucially for a bathroom mirror, the Adore Bathroom is rated IP44 against splashing water and dust, which is probably a good idea for something that lives near your shower and above a sink.

The Adore Bathroom mirror offers adjustable white light only — so while you’ll be able to adjust the color temperature from cooler to warmer whites, you won’t be able to throw a rainbow-colored LED light party for your morning shower singing.

Philips is already listing the Adore Bathroom lighted mirror on its site, but it’s currently listed as out of stock with no price. Presumably, it won’t be long before it officially goes on sale.