At Lockitron HQ we’re focusing our development efforts on a new firmware build, fixes to Bluetooth Low Energy and app updates. On the Lockitron web app we recently reworked our queueing system to ensure that if we encounter any problems charging your card we’ll hold your spot in line until your payment information is updated.
Everyone with February 25th-March 4th for their shipping estimate in the dashboardshould have received an email about their queued up Lockitron - if not, reach out and we would be happy to help. We’re a couple days behind on our production schedule, however we expect to catch up with the current batch of units next week.
A Helping Hand
We’ve started work on a new set of support videos that will help you troubleshoot when something goes wrong with Lockitron. We’re also working on videos that should help with installing Lockitron on non-standard styles of deadbolt. Take a look at our videos foraligning Lockitron and troubleshooting WiFi connectivity.
A Thicket of Circuit Board Assemblies
Several thousand circuit boards are between production and assembly phases for upcoming units. Each circuit board has a ribbon cable - similar to what you would find connected to an old-fashioned floppy drive - leading to the switches that indicate whether or not Lockitron is locked or unlocked. Take a look at the forest of ribbon cables below!
PCBAs (printed circuit board assemblies) ready to be installed into Lockitrons.
Some backers should see tracking numbers hitting their inbox today as we shipped out another batch of units - we’re also in the process of updating shipping estimates in your dashboard. For the earliest orders that are assembled or in the midst of assembly, our shipping deadlines reflect how confident we are in timing. For orders further out, where we are waiting on components, we have broader estimates. As we work our way through shipments we will update with more specific timelines in step with production.
While we’ve made a lot of progress over the last couple of months in our firmware and mobile apps, your Lockitron might need some love out of the box. If you’re having trouble with your new Lockitron, drop us a line, send us a video and let us know how we can help!
Tailor Your Lockitron’s Fit with Open 3D Design Files
Lockitron is compatible with most modern deadbolts, like the kind you can purchase at a Home Depot or Lowe’s today. However some older or more exotic deadbolts can be tricky for us to test and may present issues. The good news, however, is that if Lockitron fits over your lock there is a solution to mount it to your door.
By popular request we’re open sourcing the rubber insert for Lockitron. This is the part of Lockitron that fits snuggly around your deadbolt’s knob. In some cases the fit is too snug (high security deadbolts) or not snug enough (small European style thumb turns). We picked the size and rubber composition that we found to be the most compatible, however, with the Lockitron insert file you’ll now be able to 3D print your own, custom variant using a Makerbot or Form 1.
Grab the file from the Lockitron’s Github and start printing!
What’s up with the Lockitron Apps
We’re currently fixing a few bugs in our upcoming Android release to solve issues with BlinkUp, which is used to enroll Lockitron onto your WiFi network (this is what Blinking Up up eight Lockitrons simultaneously looks like!). Along with that, we’ve solved issues where the Android app’s state would get out sync - these fixes ensure that any action to lock or unlock (by hand or through the app) are mirrored in the app. Our imminent release will also (finally) lay the groundwork for push notifications.
We’re also priming the 2.2.1 release of our iPhone app that features a number of bug fixes and generally makes connecting to Bluetooth faster and more consistent.
On the Lockitron side we’ve updated firmware twice over the past two weeks making for a more stable, consistent Lockitron experience. We’re seeing fewer Lockitrons looping and draining precious batteries, and our recent additions targeted at increasing compatibility for different styles of locks are going well.
Thanks to everyone who helped beta test on our first Bluetooth iOS release, we made terrific progress on a number of fronts. We were able to push the latest iOS app with Bluetooth functionality to the App Store today. We sent out firmware updates which address the jamming issues. We made backend updates which provide new notification activity. Here’s what you can look for:
- Updated iOS app to 2.20 which includes a new support section, initial Bluetooth Low Energy support and additional bug fixes
- Pushing activities when an operation is carried out by hand at the door - i.e. if someone unlocks the door by hand or key, you will now see this in your activities
- Better jam detection and recovery behavior so that Lockitron knows if your door is ajar and won’t attempt to lock
We’re also testing new firmware that will help certain locks retract or extend their bolt completely for certain Kwikset locks - if this is an issue you have seen with your Lockitron, reach out and we will get you set up.
Pending Software Updates
We’re still seeing a few nasty loops in our firmware that are draining significant battery life as well as instances where commands are not being executed over the WiFi connection as expected. We’re working hard on resolving these along with fixing a number of Android bugs. Here’s how we’ll be making Lockitron better over the next several weeks:
- Better battery life by eliminating power draining loops
- Initial Bluetooth Low Energy support on Android
- Sense support on iOS
- Alerts for when Lockitron jams and how to solve it
What this means for Shipments
We apologize for not yet having new shipping estimates ready - while we hoped to have updated shipping timelines in dashboards a week ago, we wanted to ensure that the new firmware and app were ready for release before committing to dates. With the firmware update pushed and iOS Bluetooth update in the app store we will be shipping out more units (and updating estimates). Per our last update we have nearly 2,000 new unassembled circuit boards in stock which will go through the assembly process over the next few weeks.
To ensure that we can give everyone adequate help and support as we send out Lockitrons, we will stagger the units we currently have in stock to make sure we don’t overload our capacity.
What Makes a Lockitron Tick
Lockitron incorporates ABS, nylon and metal components - as we’ve talked extensively about in previous updates, catching bad parts before we ship Lockitron to your door is crucial.
In order to verify the quality of materials and replicate failures that we’re seeing in the field, we set up a test rig that continuously locks and unlocks a collection of Lockitrons. This helps us ensure all parts of the unit are working well, but most importantly, measure wear on the geartrain and its internal components. We’ve seen some unit failures in the geartrain, and a rig like this helps us identify where to hone in and tighten up quality control procedures.
With new quality control measures in place, we catch faulty units before they head out the door and make sure your Lockitron serves you well from day one. Below we’ve linked a quick snippet of the test rig in action.
Stay tuned for our next update on February 20th. Keep an eye out for interim updates on our blog at http://blog.lockitron.com/ and at the Lockitron Community.
Have questions that haven’t been answered? Drop us a line and we will be happy to help out.
We’re putting the finishing touches on the Bluetooth Low Energy beta release. We had an incredible outpouring of interest in the iOS app beta - thank you everyone for your awesome support. As noted we only have a limited number of spots, but not to worry, we’ll need your help in the future!
Shipping Timeline Update
We will be updating shipping timelines in your dashboard next week - for the earlier units we are confident we can get out the door (i.e. the units we have in stock today), we will provide a range estimate. Based on the feedback from a number of backers, we will update your dashboard with your backer number to give you a sense of where your Lockitron is out of all the pre-order units we’re working to make and ship.
This past week we learned some disappointing news - the 10,000 circuit boards that our local assembly house committed to having ready by the end of this month (in four days to be exact), are delayed.
Out of the original 10k, we’re guaranteed 2,000 circuit boards by the end of this month, however, the remaining boards aren’t slated for arrival until the third week in February.
We’re doing everything in our power to speed up the remaining circuit boards, including finding additional suppliers to work with in parallel. While we’ve found that we have substantial capacity to quickly ramp up the mechanical components for Lockitron, we’re doubling down our efforts get electronics made quickly.
Lockitrons on the Shelves
With our impending Bluetooth Low Energy beta release we’re resuming shipments, and another few hundred Lockitrons were packed in our fulfillment house yesterday. Take a look at that stack of ‘trons!
A few hundred Lockitrons waiting for final packaging here in California
We’re incredibly excited to announce that our first Bluetooth Low Energy release is nearly ready for beta testing. We’re opening up the beta opportunity for all current iOS Lockitron users, however spots are limited. If you would like to test the beta app, reach out at email@example.com.
Our upcoming Android update will be the first to include notification capabilities. We’re working to include Bluetooth Low Energy in the subsequent Android release. With Bluetooth Low Energy nearly ready to go, we’re going to slowly resume shipments. Since our last update several hundred more units have been assembled and prepped.
Opening up Lockitron: Webhooks Enabled
For developers we’ve recently added webhooks to the Lockitron API. Webhooks allow Lockitron to post valuable information - such as when someone knocks at your door - to other home automation products and apps. If you’re working on an app that uses the Lockitron API, let us know!
Where to get help for your new Lockitron
With Lockitrons heading out the door we’ve learned a bit about what can go wrong and how to solve it:
- Sticky door? Weather stripping requires you to pull your door closed? Consider adding a replacement Schlage deadbolt to your order. With the included tapered latch, Lockitron can pull your door closed.
- Lockitron not fully locking or unlocking? This might indicate that the C-plate is out of alignment - see our installation FAQ section for more help.
- Lockitron doesn’t turn or sounds odd? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org - if you experience any mechanical or electronic failure, we would be happy to get you set up with a replacement as soon as possible.
Happy Belated Boxing Day from everyone at the Lockitron team!
In our last update we noted that our goal was to hit 1,000 units before the years end. Thanks to the quality control steps we take here in California we caught a few bugs in some units before they left for final packaging. Between our current set of units being prepped for shipment and ones that have already gone out the door we should be at just over 500 units, with the remaining units from that target being built during the first weeks of January.
Based on the components we have in stock, the current assembly times and adding remaining features (Bluetooth Low Energy), our rough estimate is that we are 6-12 weeks behind the dashboard schedule. Once we are confident we have spun up to full production capacity, we will update the estimates in the dashboard. We will send you an email with tracking information once your unit heads out the door.
Bluetooth Low Energy and Notifications
While ramping up the manufacturing side of Lockitron is a major hurdle, we are also focused on getting out the last core features - Bluetooth Low Energy and app notifications - into production as soon as possible. Our BLE development is currently proceeding in parallel on both iOS and Android platforms.
While we expect to have our iOS release available first, we’re excited to get the feature out the door for both platforms as soon as possible - we want to ensure that every customer has a great Lockitron experience out of the box and Bluetooth Low Energy is a major part of this.
Colors Closer to Production
In previous updates we noted how the production of different colored Lockitron faceplates were taking extra time. We will be supplying backers with Obsidian Black units until additional color faceplates were available at which point we will send an additional color free of charge.
We recently received new Bondi Blue and Studio White samples that are close to production ready. Color matching on production parts is tricky and involves various paint samples, material tests and process control. We’ve been through several iterations of paints and finishes, each one approaching the quality and color that we envision for Lockitron. Once we finalize the additional faceplate colors, they will be placed into full production alongside Obsidian Black.
The past couple of weeks we have pushed out a few more updates including changes to our Android app as well as firmware updates. We’re currently prepping the first release of Bluetooth Low Energy support for the Lockitron iOS app. Over Bluetooth Low Energy Lockitron responds instantaneously, paving the way for full Sense support early next year.
What’s the status on Lockitron shipments?
After shipping out the last batch of Lockitrons we found a few more steps that needed to be added to our quality control process. Any change to assembly is tested, documented and then scaled to ensure it is repeatable and consistent.
We are slated to have another few hundred units ready the end of this week and the beginning of next. We’re shipping units as quickly as they’re assembled and we are working to ramp up to several thousand per week in late January. Our goal is to ship an additional 1,000 units before the end of the year.
What’s Coming On Mobile
We recently released version 2.0.3 of the Android app with an important new feature - we now push state changes from your Lockitron to your app in realtime when the app is open. Along with a few bug fixes, we’re currently working on the following for both our iOS and Android mobile apps:
- Bluetooth Low Energy - our initial release of BLE for iOS will let you control Lockitron immediately, any time when you’re next to the door. Android support is incredibly important for us and we’ll call for beta testers when we have an initial release.
- Push Notifications - low battery, manual lock and unlock actions and door knocks. Other notifications for individual user actions, i.e. when a virtual key is used for the first time, are on our roadmap.
- Help and Support - we’re adding more information and tools directly into our mobile app to resolve any issues during the setup or use of Lockitron.
We appreciate any and all bug reports or feedback for our mobile apps - we review all crash reports and they’re incredibly helpful.
A belated Happy Thanksgiving!
A week ago we pushed out major updates across all of our software to improve the experience dramatically - this means better battery life, consistent waking up from deep sleep, and activity logging. We updated the iOS app to version 2.1.3 and an update to our Android app will follow soon. We describe the changes in more detail on the Lockitron blog.
The biggest outstanding milestone is enabling Bluetooth Low Energy support for Lockitron. This requires updates to our firmware and mobile apps which we are currently working on.
When will shipments resume?
We shipped some units from our fulfillment center this past Friday. We are still in the process of ramping up final QA steps, however, as units are available from our assembly house we will have them immediately readied for shipment. As we review and understand the time it takes from initial assembly to shipment, we will update the estimates in the dashboard accordingly.
Setting up Lockitron
In our last update we noted that we were working on additional ways to install Lockitron for large or decorative locks that might not otherwise be compatible. We are currently compiling this information as well as additional printable templates to align Lockitron on your door in the case of a non-standard deadbolt.
Before your unit arrives, we recommend taking a look at the Lockitron installation video. The best way to confirm whether or not Lockitron is compatible is by using our printable template.
Verify your address and payment information in the Lockitron dashboard to make sure your unit heads out without delay.
We’ve been hard at work with some great results - yesterday we pushed out several important updates across our firmware, web and mobile software.
The most important updates - those on the firmware side - should resolve some significant stability and power management bugs that Lockitron was experiencing. As mentioned in previous updates, a few bugs caused loops which drained Lockitron’s batteries far more quickly than expected. With the new software in place, Lockitron consistently wakes up, locks and unlocks and keeps running for much longer.
We’re currently upgrading our web infrastructure to handle all of the Lockitrons that are coming online. While not outwardly visible, this infrastructure is crucial for fast, consistent access.
Lastly, version 2.1.3 of our iPhone app was approved in the App Store yesterday. This version of the app includes a new polling system to consistently show the correct state that Lockitron is in (even if someone uses a key or turns it by hand). We’re in the process of updating our Android app as well to mirror these upgrades.
If you haven’t taken a look already, head over to the Lockitron Community - it’s the best place to find answers to Lockitron related questions and the most up-to-date news.
This past week we’ve been verifying that our new firmware builds are successfully flashing onto units - the good news is that we can consistently flash Lockitrons over-the-air. This means we can resume electronics production at full capacity. We are, however, still working on resolving a condition where Lockitron enters a high power consumption state and drains the batteries very quickly.
When will shipments resume?
Based on resolving the outstanding power consumption issue we are working to resume shipping as early as possible. We want to ensure that everyone can successfully set up, control and update Lockitron out of the box and that the current bugs don’t hamper the experience.
Where can I learn about what’s working and what isn’t?
In our last newsletter we mentioned that we would be launching a place were we could keep everyone informed of what’s going on at Lockitron HQ between updates - that community is now live at http://community.lockitron.com/.
We will post smaller updates in the forums while still sending out our newsletter going forward. We are also expanding our engineering team - if you know anyone who loves web development and is looking for work please see our jobs posting.In a Flash: Testing Circuit Boards
In our mid-October update we mentioned how we were commissioning new “flashing rigs” - dedicated devices that allow us to test and set up the circuit boards for Lockitron.
After each circuit board is produced it is tested and goes through an initial programming step on one of these rigs. While similar to our iPad programming, this step weeds out bad circuit boards before they are installed into units.
Each rig can flash 32 circuit boards at a time - given the procedure takes a couple of minutes, this is a massive improvement over the single unit test rig we were using before.
Below are a couple of stills from the training video that we created for using the flashing rig:The flashing rig powers, tests and completes initial programming on our circuit boards before they are installed into Lockitrons.
Installing Lockitron on a Variety of Deadbolts
Since we announced Lockitron a number of folks asked whether or not it would be compatible with high security deadbolts such as Medeco or Protec models.
Lockitron will work out of the box with some of these high security locks. For other, larger locks like the Assa Protec2, we are currently working on a solution that should provide compatibility without needing to modify any mechanical parts. Stay tuned for more updates on using Lockitron with high security locks at the new Lockitron community forums.
Before your unit arrives, we recommend taking a look at the Lockitron installation video. Also, keep in mind that best way to confirm whether or not Lockitron is compatible is by using our printable template.
Lastly, remember to verify your address and payment information in the Lockitron dashboard to make sure your unit heads out without delay.
With Lockitron, you can instantly grant family, friends and guests access to your home or business from anywhere in the world using your internet enabled smartphone. For $179 and no monthly fees you can order a Lockitron that fits over your current deadbolt lock and can be installed in seconds.
Follow the Lockitron blog for all of the latest news and updates on Lockitron. Subscribe via RSS.