Lockitron has started taking pre-orders for its new $99 smart lock, the Bolt. This is the second such smart deadbolt from Lockiton; the first version was crowdfunded in 2012, but the company got hit with production problems that kept it from fulfilling the majority of its backer orders.
Lockitron admitted to those problems in announcing the Bolt today, stating that "we knew that without significant changes to our existing suppliers we could never make our way through the immense backlog at an acceptable speed." The company decided to shift gears and concentrate on making the new and improved Bolt. It states:
Bolt is based on a tested locking mechanism that has seen millions of cycles across thousands of doors. It's manufactured in a facility that's proven its ability to ship tens of thousands of units per year. Like it's successor, Lockitron Bolt incorporates Bluetooth Low Energy - we've broken out Lockitron's WiFi capability into a separate unit called Bridge which will give you always-on remote control from anywhere in the world without draining the batteries.
The Bolt is smaller than the first Lockitron . It will still allow users to remotely open and close doors with a smartphone app and also allow for owners to give virtual "keys" to friends and family. Unlike the original version, which was made to fit over existing deadlocks, the Lockitron Bolt will require owners to replace their current door deadbolt.
A preview version of Bolt, which will be limited to a few thousand units, will be released in March as a "open beta" The final production version will start shipping later this spring.