Since our last update we’ve been tweaking our tools and getting everything ready to ship. As we get closer to shipment we will first go through a pre-production phase to produce a number of pilot Lockitrons on our production equipment. This run of units lets us ensure that every part of Lockitron - from the plastics and metals up through our circuit boards and software - work together.
Countdown to Lockitron
The last two weeks we have been bringing together all of the pieces and timetables for Lockitron. While some of the tooling for Lockitron has taken longer due to our mechanical improvements, we are very pleased with the finished product and happy to announce the ship date for the first batch of Lockitrons.
The first Lockitrons start shipping July 15th, 2013.
As the first batch of Lockitrons heads out the door, we will update your dashboard to reflect your estimated shipping window. You will have the chance to change your address up until a week before your unit is ready to ship.
Thank you for your support and patience over the last few months - we’re excited to bring Lockitron to your door!
Building Lockitron for Mobile
In the last few weeks we’ve made tremendous progress on the new version of the Android app. This app is a full rebuild from our first version that is currently in the Google Play store and now allows you to invite and manage virtual keys for family and friends
Over the next couple of weeks we will be onboarding beta testers to try out the app so we can fix the app’s bugs before shipment.
On the iOS front, version 2 of the Lockitron app is currently in the App Store. We’ll be pushing a couple more updates to this app before Lockitron is ready to ship. We encourage iPhone users to get the app set up today to use our “Check Compatibility” feature. It’s incredibly easy - just snap a couple of photos of your current door lock and we will let you know if you are ready to go with Lockitron.
The past two weeks we have been dotting our i’s and crossing our t’s with all of the components that go in your Lockitron’s box. While we’re keeping the new packaging under wraps for now, we believe it is important to note that we are including four fresh AA batteries from a major brand name supplier in every box.
Die Casting and Painting
We now have the first factory produced aluminum parts in hand. Each Lockitron part is die cast from a machined steel tool. Due to the difficulty of machining steel, these tools take weeks to make. With this tool we are now producing some test units to understand how the parts need to be tweaked before we produce tens of thousands of each component.
In our last update we showed off one of the unfinished Lockitron covers made from blue ABS plastic. Each one of these covers goes through a finishing stage where the front of the part is given it’s glossy shine and the soft touch paint is applied to the rim. One of the test covers is shown below, however, the soft touch and gloss were accidentally swapped.
A little rough around the edges, this cast Lockitron housing has not yet been through the bead blast stage which produces a uniform finish. After this process, the housing looks much closer to the prototype parts we’ve shown in previous updates.
Ooops! The soft touch rim and glossy front of this test cover were accidentally swapped.
Listening In: EMC Testing
A crucial part of ensuring Lockitron is ready to ship is emissions testing to confirm every unit meets regulatory standards. This means that Lockitron isn’t sending out any unexpected radio waves that might interfere with other devices.
We dropped by a few local test facilities and captured some great photos including one of our test units being run through its paces on a jig.
Shown here is one of the anechoic chambers. The word “anechoic” literally means echo-less, the chamber absorbing reflections of both sound and electromagnetic waves. All electronic devices need to be tested in these chambers to ensure their electromagnetic emissions are within a mandated range.
A Lockitron test rig is positioned in one of the anechoic chambers for a dry run of our circuit board. The initial testing revealed that Lockitron is ready to go and shouldn’t have any problems when we complete the final testing.
We thank you for your patience. Once Lockitron is ready to ship your dashboard will be updated to reflect when your unit is expected to go out this summer.
We are excited to announce all of the molds for the cosmetic components of Lockitron have been completed. Below you can see the main housing cover and knob along with several of the retaining rings cast in a test plastic.
We are still hard at work on the internal gear molds that make up Lockitron’s drive train. Once these molds are completed we will need to test that everything functions as it is supposed to, make any necessary adjustments, and start up the production line.
Lockitron’s main housing, knob, and retaining rings cast in test plastic. These parts don’t make it into a final unit but are used to check fit and adjust tooling parameters like the mold temperature, hold time, and pressure settings.
You asked, we delivered.
Say hello to the new Lockitron color: Studio White
Since our launch, many of you have requested an all white Lockitron. We’ve heard you, and we’re happy to announce that we’ll be coming out with our fourth Lockitron color, Studio White. While not something we had originally planned for, it made a lot of sense for us to have, since we’re already using white features for both the Bondi Blue and Quicksilver models.
If you’ve been holding out for the white finish, you can update your color selection by going to https://lockitron.com/dashboard/orders and clicking the ”Change” button next to your current color selection.
More Ways to Check Compatibility
In addition to our “Check Compatibility” feature in our iPhone app, we’re releasing a printable Lockitron cutout. Simply print out the template, cut on the dotted line and place over your current lock. If you’re unsure if Lockitron will fit, feel free to reach out us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you don’t have a printer nearby or want an expert’s opinion, grab a copy of the new Lockitron iPhone app where you can send photos of your current door lock directly to us for evaluation.
If you haven’t already downloaded the Lockitron iPhone app, you can find it on the App Store here.
We’re back in Zhuji, China this week with our manufacturing partner where the first “test shot” parts are rolling off the line. These test shots are the result of a process called injection molding whereby plastic is injected into specially machined cavities that form the shapes of Lockitron’s parts.
The injection molds produce hundreds of thousands of parts and each mold is custom made, taking hundreds of man hours to create and test.
Below we’ve included some photos of the first injection molded parts rolling off the lines. These parts won’t be used for production, but instead reveal where tools need to be adjusted to ensure every part of Lockitron fits together perfectly.
One of our molds is loaded into the injection molding machine (or the “injection press”) for testing. The mold is the large block of steel shown in the center of the photo. To the right of the green digital screen is where the plastic is injected into the cavities of the mold.
One of our injection molds is hoisted into the injection press. This mold is for one of Lockitron’s internal components, a retaining ring that holds our main gear in place. Each mold weighs several hundred pounds since they are machined from solid blocks of steel.
The first Bluetooth button samples hot of the press. The mold has four cavities and therefore can produce four buttons with every shot. The upside-down T structure holding the buttons together is the main channel where plastic flows into the buttons. Once cooled, this is removed.
Here are several retaining rings that hold the main Lockitron mechanism in place. There are over a dozen other parts that are specially molded for Lockitron in the same way.
Most of the components for Lockitron are well on their way towards completion. We will be getting more photos of different test shots this upcoming Monday.
At the moment, the delayed components are the ones responsible for driving Lockitron. Once molded, these components will need to be adjusted to ensure that noise and friction are at a minimum to increase the product’s longevity and battery life.
This process will take a few weeks. We will announce a ship date once we are confident Lockitron meets our (and your) high expectations. We are very close. The gear train is the last main assembly that needs to fall into place before Lockitron is ready.
We’re reporting to you this week from Zhuji, China where the plastic and metal components for Lockitron are made before being shipped to the United States for the addition of our PCB (“printed circuit board”) and final assembly.
Cameron takes a look at the our molds being made in China. Each mold consists of two sides that are machined from a solid pieces of steel. In the center of the photo is one half of the mold where Lockitron’s outer housing is made.
Zhuji is home to an eclectic mix of industries including some of the world’s largest freshwater pearl farms, sock factories, and power tool manufacturers.
This last point in particular is what brought us to the region. The same firms that make the motors and housings for commercial power tools, such as angle grinders and concrete saws, are fabricating the housing and gear train for Lockitron.
Designing for longevity has been a key concern for us, which is why we have “over engineered” critical components to withstand the test of time and have partnered with a factory who has experience making tools that keep working, day in, day out.
While the tool shop may seem a bit “rough and tumble,” the molds themselves are cut to a very high precision using a range of processes including CNC (“computer numerical control”) and EDM (“electrical discharge machining”). Here you see the molds for some of our inner ring components.
The previous change to improve the motors performance and Lockitron’s battery life means that we had to make a modification to the mold used for the metal portion of Lockitron. Molds for die casting metal are made from a harder material than those for injection molding plastic. As a result, they usually take longer to machine and adjust.
The molds for plastic are nearly complete and we should start seeing test shots from them here shortly. Mold making is an iterative process, so we expect there will be minor changes to tools as we confirm the rates at which the plastics cool and the strength of the resulting parts.
We will be back in Zhuji soon with photos of the first sample Lockitron components rolling off the lines.
Activation Emails Sent
We recently sent out an email which allowed you to activate your account. Once your account is activated, you can review your billing, shipping, color and quantity information.
We had a few bugs on the activation page, so if you had trouble setting up your account, don’t worry. We will send out an additional activation email soon to everyone who has not yet set up their account.
If you’ve received a warning that your account email or phone number conflicts with another account, hang tight. We are currently prepping an internal tool to help us select the right email address and phone number you want on your account.
We are excited to announce that inside of every Lockitron you will find an Electric Imp WiFi module. Electric Imp is a brilliant little device that looks like an SD Card but in fact contains a WiFi chip that dramatically simplifies getting Lockitron onto your network. Just enter your WiFi network information into the iPhone or Android Lockitron app and hold your phone’s screen up to the Lockitron.
Thanks to Electric Imp’s BlinkUp technology, your WiFi password and network information will be flashed from your phone’s screen onto your Lockitron. This means you will be able to set up your Lockitron directly from our iOS or Android apps.
The inclusion of WiFi means you can control your Lockitron from anywhere in the world with no clunky cables to mess with. Other WiFi chips require an awkward two-step set up process and are costly to develop for, but the Imp has been an absolute dream to work with and lets us provide you with the best possible experience when using your Lockitron.
Take a look at what the the terrific folks over at Electric Imp had to say.
We’ve removed our PCB (printed circuit board) housing to reveal the Electric Imp nestled in its SD-card slot. Below the Imp is our Bluetooth Low Energy chip. Not only does it look rad, the rainbow wire bundle makes Lockitron easier to visually inspect during assembly.
Featured in the Pack Store
Lockitron is now available to reserve in the Pack Store. The Pack Store is like the App Store, but for app-enabled hardware like Lockitron.
Since we already have your reservation on file, take a look at some of the other great app-enabled hardware in the Pack Store like the Pebble watch which we will be enabling you to use to unlock your door.
Stay tuned for our next update in two weeks on April 4th. We will be heading to China to get you an update on the creation of our injection molds.
It’s been a while since our last update and we wanted to give you the latest news on Lockitron’s progress.
Order Dashboard On the Way
We are currently working on a dashboard where you will be able to review your order as well as change your preferred Lockitron color.
Need to update your billing or shipping information?
Along with checking in on your color choice, our new dashboard will allow you to confirm your billing and shipping information. If you’ve had a credit card go missing or moved to a new place, don’t worry – we will let you change this information up until your unit is ready to ship.
Good News, Bad News, Good News
Bringing you the best possible Lockitron is a process of constant improvement. Since we last showed off Lockitron at CES, we have found ways to reduce friction in the mechanism that drives Lockitron’s unlocking and locking action.
The bad news is this requires a modification to the molds used in Lockitron’s motor housing. We have just heard back from the factory, and the official word is this will delay shipment by approximately 4 weeks. Our first run of Lockitron parts should be coming off the presses in mid-April and then shipped to the U.S. for quality control, final assembly, testing and packaging.
While we hate to introduce any changes this close to release, we found this modification to be essential and will greatly increase Lockitron’s longevity and result in quieter operation. It has been a very hard decision for us to make, we hope you will understand that this short-term delay will pay dividends so you may continue to use your Lockitron for many years to come.
On a more positive note, the fantastic support we have received since our Selfstarter campaign closed in November has enabled us to upgrade our overall production capacity. We have since found a final assembly and fulfillment facility that can easily cope with the increased demand so we can now ship more Lockitrons more quickly. While we’re not thrilled to have a delayed start, we are very glad to have a bigger “engine.”
New Production Electronics
The manufacturing of our PCBs (or “printed circuit board”) and the final assembly of Lockitron will be done here in California. This will let us keep a close attention to the details during the final testing and packaging stages of each Lockitron, without needing to fly halfway around the world.
The brains of Lockitron, the PCBs, are in hand. For those folks who are more technically inclined, you can see our ATMega processor and buttons. Our Bluetooth Low Energy and WiFi modules are located on the underside of this board.
Due to the different rate at which the various colors of Lockitrons take to cool in our mold and the additional calibration time incurred by switching between colors, we will be producing each color of Lockitron in its own run. Based on your feedback from the color survey, the first run of Lockitron units rolling off the line will be Obsidian Black, with the rest soon to follow.
Please look forward to our next update in two weeks on March 21st.
Thank you for all of your ongoing support – we’re incredibly excited to bring Lockitron to your door.
At the recent 2013 Consumer Electronics Show we showed off one of the latest Lockitron prototypes. This is a fully functional prototype that communicates directly with an iPhone 4S through Bluetooth Low Energy. For those without Bluetooth Low Energy handsets, don’t worry, we have our WiFi interface up and running as well.
On the production front, we’re in the process of kicking off tooling for Lockitron. This includes making injection molds, which many of the Lockitron components will be made out of, as well as finalizing placement of crucial internal components like our piezo element which will sense when someone knocks at your door.
We’ve also made the decision to keep the final assembly of Lockitron in the United States. While costlier, we hope this will give us greater control over ensuring that each Lockitron meets the high quality control standards we expect from our manafacturing partners.
We’ll be documenting much of this process for you, so stay tuned as we bring you updates on Lockitron as it enters manufacturing.
Lastly, make sure to take a look at the video of Lockitron Co-Founder Cameron showing off the prototype for TechCrunch’s Matt Burns.
Lockitron’s iPhone App is on its Way
We’re up the finishing touches on the 2.0 release of the Lockitron app. The new Lockitron app is a complete redesign from the original version of our iPhone app. A full facelift for our Android app is also underway.
But what can you do with the app given you don’t have your Lockitron yet? We’ve built in a quick compatibility check feature that lets you snap a photo of your door lock and send it to us directly to us to ensure that it’s Lockitron ready.
It’s Time to Choose Your Lockitron Color
At the end of last month we sent out a form where you could select your Lockitron’s color. If you missed this form, drop us a line and we will get you set up.
For each of the different colors, the main housing and knob will have a glossy finish, with the outer rim featuring a matte soft-touch finish. We’ve chosen the pantone color of our Bondi Blue Lockitron to closely mirror the prototype shown in the video above.
Need to change your mailing address or credit card information? No problem - we will send out an additional form prior to shipping out your Lockitron that lets you confirm and edit this information.
With 2013 just around the corner, our team has been hard at work testing and tweaking the software and hardware for our preproduction Lockitron units. We’ve been running a range of cycle and durability tests to ensure there aren’t any changes that we need to make before sending Lockitron off for production.
As you can see in the photo below, the outer shell of the Lockitron pops off of the aluminum backplate to reveal Lockitron’s inner components. These include our gear train, motor, batteries and circuit boards.
Inside the Box
With a beautiful, innovative product like Lockitron, we want to make sure that our packaging welcomes you to your new, keyless experience. We’re going to save the full unboxing experience for you, however, here are a couple of sneak peeks of what we’re working on.
Lockitron for Android
We’ve had a number of questions about whether or not Lockitron will have a dedicated Android app. We are pleased to say that yes, it will! We’re working on an Android app that leverages features and capabilities not available on other handsets.
Have questions that haven’t been answered? While we try to get back to all emails on a timely basis, some still slip through, so feel free message us again and we will be happy to help out.
Thank you for supporting Lockitron! We wish you a lovely holiday season for you and your loved ones.
With the scent of roast turkey and pumpkin pies in the air, we wanted to give you a quick update on our progress in bringing Lockitron to your door as well as a special opportunity to get Lockitron for a great price if you missed our campaign.
Black Friday Special - $20 Off Your Lockitron Reservation
If you haven’t grabbed your Lockitron yet, this weekend is the best time to! Starting tomorrow morning, for three days only, reserve a Lockitron for $159 – a $20 savings! Make sure to get your spot in line now - you won’t be charged until your Lockitron is ready to ship next year.
Below we’ve included a few photos of some of the latest Lockitron prototype components. For strength and rigidity, the back of Lockitron is a single piece of aluminum. We’ve also built a number of demo stands to show off Lockitron – these are complete, working mechanical prototypes mounted on real locks.
On the software side, the new version of the Lockitron iPhone app is nearly ready for its initial release. We’re currently working out all of the kinks and we hope to have it in the App Store soon.
We’re also redesigning our Android app to take advantage of the unique features in Android phones. The most obvious example of this is our NFC functionality that allows you to unlock your door by swiping your phone past a Lockitron NFC tag. Stay tuned for sneak peeks of the new version.
We’re Incredibly Thankful for your Support
For our supporters in the United States, we hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Thank you for your ongoing support in helping us replace keys.
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.
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