Sony is attempting an interesting strategy to launch its Qrio smart lock. Rather than launch the smart lock under its own brand, Qrio is a project that is turning to crowdfunding site Makuake to attract backers, with early adopters given preferential pricing. Like competing smart locks from August and Lockitron, Qrio will allow owners to lock and unlock their doors using their smartphones.
According to crowdfunding page, the first 200 backers will be able to obtain the lock for as little as $95 and Sony is hoping that the project will pick up at least 1,500 orders. At $95, Qrio may be one of the cheaper smart locks on the market today, undercutting the $250 August Lock and the $220 Kwikset Kevo. Qrio will attach to your existing deadbolt to convert your existing home lock into a smart one.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Qrio will launch later this month as a joint venture between Sony and U.S.-based venture capital fund World Innovation Lab.