Bitlock, “the world’s first keyless bike lock,” is actually really cool. It works sort of like a keycard system: The key is the app on your phone, so you can just go up to your bike, push a button on the lock, and voila, it’s unlocked.
Granted, we’ve never found the task of unlocking a bike by hand particularly onerous, but it’s nice not to have to remember a code or a key. But really, the best part of this lock is that you don’t actually need to be there to unlock it. You can use the Bitlock app to share access with other friends.
Let’s say you biked downtown to work and parked your bike for the day. Your friend who works a few blocks away needs to run an errand. You’re not using your bike, so you can release it to her for however long she needs it.
Also, the app bookmarks the location of where you’ve locked your bike. So you can’t lose it! Or if your friend parks it in another place, you can just look that up.
If you read through all of the copious information on the Kickstarter for the project, the sharing part is actually what the creator is most excited about:
What made me interested was not merely replacing physical keys with another physical object. I was more fascinated about the potential of being able to share access remotely in a flexible and frictionless way. Sharing access to stuff. Objects. Anything. Being able to lend and borrow stuff anytime and anywhere in the world.
I asked myself: What are the objects we can share? There were so many of them. So I decided to make “A” lock and let people decide what to share and with whom to share. But I needed a starting point. So I decided to start out with bike sharing.
Of course you have to trust that your friends will bring your bike back. And let’s face it, sometimes your friends are jerks. But at least, this way, if you lend the wrong person your bike, you’re not stuck calling them over and over again to find out where they parked it. Which is good, because you need to keep your phone free to work your lock!