Startup Smart Armor Tech is bringing the connected lock indoors. Instead of a standard deadbolt, the company has announced what it calls the Smart Cube — a two-piece device that can lock indoor enclosures. Think of it like a retrofit home safe.
You won’t use the Smart Cube on your front door like other, but the device grants the ability to secure a drawer in your dorm room, a cabinet of cleaning products where your young child likes to explore, or your liquor cabinet. It’s a flexible product, and Indiegogo users — who have contributed over $100,000 to the project so far — seem excited about its potential. But I’m skeptical that those possibilities really merit the expected price tag: $100.
The Smart Cube basically looks like a bar with threading like a screw. This bar, which is only a few inches long, slides into a second piece — a polycarbonate sheath. Users secure the sheath inside the cabinet or drawer, and attach the bar to the door. When it closes, the Smart Cube locks, securing the enclosure. To open it, you just tap a button in the Smart Armor app.
The mechanism is perhaps a little too simple. If you’re really worried about keeping something out of reach, you probably want to buy a real safe. But its app connection does bring something unique to the table: you will receive alerts if a cabinet is opened or tampered with. This lets the device double as a door/window sensor and lock. The problem is, because it relies on Bluetooth technology, you won’t be able to actually control the Cube while you’re out of range. This limits the benefits of Smart Cube’s connected-ness.
The basic idea for the device isn’t bad, but between a slightly steep price and its Bluetooth limitations, the Smart Cube will have to do a lot to win me over. The Smart Cube is available for preorder on Indiegogo now, with devices planned to ship in early 2017.