Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Smartphones replace house keys

10 January 2014, 14:14

Las Vegas - Gabriel Bestard-Ribas got tired of his house keys scratching his smartphone in his pocket, so he combined them.

The result was a Goji lock, which senses when a resident's smartphone is near and not only unlocks a door but greets the resident by name.

It's just one of the trend of "smart locks" on display at the Consumer Electronics Show that ends on Friday.

"My keys were always scratching my phone, so I thought why not build them in," said Bestard-Ribas, founder and chief executive of San Francisco start-up Goji.

His creation fuses mobile internet technology with centuries old lock mechanics. A free Goji application installed in smartphones uses Bluetooth connectivity to let the lock know a person is near and, if it is a resident or someone given a "digital key", a personalised welcome message displays and the path is opened.


A camera built into the lock takes a picture of whoever is arriving. Images of visitors as well as alerts regarding entry are relayed to residents' smartphones through home wireless internet connections.

"It is about allowing you to feel confidence and control over your home access," Bestard-Ribas said. "We have all lost keys or given them to someone who left our sight; we don't know if copies were made."

Temporary digital keys, restricting use to specified time periods, can be e-mailed to house cleaners, dog walkers, or others who may need to visit homes. The locks were available for order online at gojiaccess.com at a price of $299 each, and will begin shipping in March.

Veteran lock makers Kwikset and Schlage were also showing off smart locks at CES.

A Kwikset Kevo lock senses when a resident's smartphone is near and then opens when the person touches what appears to be an ordinary deadbolt in a door.

"As long as you have your phone in our pocket, or in your purse, you touch the deadbolt and in about a second it will lock or unlock," said Phil Dumas, president of UniKey, whose technology was built into Kevo.

"It can even tell what side of the door you are on, so you can be on the inside and a bad guy can touch the door and it won't unlock."

Built-in alarms

Kevo launched late last year at an array of US retailers with an application tailored for iPhones, and UniKey was waiting for a software update from Google to release one compatible with Android-powered handsets.

Schlage's touch screen deadbolt let people unlock doors to their homes remotely using their smartphones, and featured built-in alarms that shriek if incorrect codes are entered too many times.

Each of the locks provided ways to offer limited access by granting people temporary keys or codes, and promised records of who entered and when delivered to smartphones.

"Your lock is linked to the Wi-Fi of your home, and your home automation system, so you could manage your home from anywhere in the world," Bestard-Ribas said. "This is a really life-changing event that is happening nowadays."

For folks interested in seeing who is on their doorstep without having to change locks, there was SkyBell.

The Internet Age doorbell connects to the same wires as its simpler predecessors, but has a built in camera and synchs to Wi-Fi to stream real-time video of who is ringing to a resident's smartphone.

It also has motion sensing and night-vision, so it can transmit images even when visitors arrive in darkness, according to SkyBell's Kelly Stewart.

"You can see and hear and talk to them," Stewart said, of visitors both welcome and not. "If a robber is in front of your house the motion-sensor will alert you; or if your daughter tries to sneak in after her curfew."

SkyBell users have the option of capturing screen shots of visitors. SkyBell, launched by the California-based company at CES, is available in the US at online merchant Amazon.com for $199.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...