Today I got my hands on a Noke bluetooth keyless padlock to play with. Thanks to Simon at Enfield Locksmiths for the freebie. Here is a short review and initial thoughts.
The Noke padlock is a stainless 40mm shackle with keyless entry by several means which can be programmed via a dedicated smart phone app. Once you have registered and added the padlock to your managed list in the app you can then select how you would like the padlock to function.
The shackle doubles up as an electronic clicker and is used to wake the padlock. If the app is running on your smartphone and the shackle is clicked whilst within range, the padlock will flash green and unlock. Additional keyfobs (sold separately) can also be programmed to work in the same manner.
Obviously this isn't the ideal setting if you are likely to be within range of the padlock whilst it is tampered with so if you are likely to lock up your bike and nip into the local shop you might want to add the authorise function. This will ask for permission to unlock the padlock on your screen and will not automatically unlock.
The third option is to manually log into the app, and click 'unlock' on the padlock menu.
The fourth and my personal favourite is the morse code style unlocking. (Click for a video) You can log into the app and create a sequential code of dots and dashes correspnding to short and long clicks on the shackle, short clicks indicated by a blue flash, long clicks by a white flash. This means you could safely lock away your phone in a locker, use the padlock to secure it but still be able to unlock the padlock.
Noke padlocks advertise a years battery life under 'normal use' and it is supposed to be weather resistant. The seal on the back of the lock doesn't seem tight fitting but does have a rubber o-ring. I personally would not use the padlock for permanent outdoor applications unless it was well shielded from rain. Although the electronics are well sealed inside the lock, the battery may still short out if moisture seaps in.
It's certainly an interesting design and I can see this being a great product to sell to my customers with special access requirements.