Students invent bike lock GPS

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Two former Oxford students have designed ‘The World’s First Smart Bike Lock’. The lock, named the LOCK8, can be operated remotely using a phone or key fob, should the user’s phone run out of battery, and contains a GPS tracker and sensors to prevent bike-theft.

Developed by Wadham graduate, Daniel Zajarias-Fainsod and Franz Salzmann of LMH, the lock is in response to both students’ experiences as victims of bike-theft.

The LOCK8 is a keyless lock which can be operated through the free LOCK8 app, whilst its multiple deterrent features ensure the security of the device.

The six sensors in the lock can detect motion, vibration, any attempts to cut the lock, and changes in temperature, whilst the 120 decibel alarm aims to ward off any persistent would-be thieves.

The creators write, “LOCK8 cables will be wired and if cut, trigger the alarm. We will produce multiple cable sizes, lengths and strengths. If you want to lock various bikes with one LOCK8 wired cable, this won’t be a problem. Remember: You can also use LOCK8 without the wired cable. Just activate the alarm by walking away.”

Push notifications mean that the owner will be informed instantaneously if someone attempts to steal the bike. The device is charged when the bike is moving using magnets in the provided wheel reflectors.

Daniel, biomedical-engineer and CTO of LOCK8, stated, “My bike got stolen from outside Wadham during matriculation – very inconvenient! Then in April, Franz, who was studying Russian and Eastern European studies at LMH, had his bike stolen. We were discussing the thefts when he said wouldn’t it be good to have tracking systems on bikes. I suggested combining the tracker with a lock. We started playing with the idea, eventually submitting a patent and finding investors.”

The LOCK8 also aims to make bike-loans simpler, enabling the owner to send the remote key to family members or to someone who may wish to rent the bike.

However, the product retails at around £99 and one student argued that his bike was not valuable enough to justify the extra expense. They commented, “I never lock my bike unless it is the nicest looking bike there — realistically who is going to steal it?”

Oone student from New College disagreed, commenting, “Personally I would be delighted at the prospect of a new smart lock — having to wrestle with my useless lock genuinely puts me off cycling short distances, and the embarrassment of looking like I am stealing my own bike is getting tiring.”