Tech Review: Forget the combination, go bluetooth

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

There are some things that have lasted for decades with very few changes.  The padlock is one of those things.  Most have a dial or a key and look the same way they did decades ago.  Now, a new padlock changes everything and brings a few new advantages with it.  I tested out the Dog And Bone LockSmart Mini.

The Lock

At first appearance, the LockSmart looks like any other pad lock.  It has a steel loop and a rubber coated body.  On the button you’ll find a wake-up button and a usb port for charing.  The company says it takes a total of 60 minutes to charge-up the lock and it’ll last for 2 years before it needs a re-charge.  The app will warn you long before the battery hits 0%.

Using the LockSmart

Setup is quick and easy.  It uses low power Bluetooth so it sips the battery.  When it’s time to unlock the padlock you press the button on the bottom to wake-up the lock and then use the app to unlock it.  It’s actually easier than I expected it to be!

Sharing is Caring

The killer feature is that you can share the lock with up to 50 people.  You can track who unlocked it and when.  All they need to use the lock is the smartphone app.  This would be perfect for a lock that more than one person needs to access.


The LockSmart does the most important thing a bluetooth lock needs to do, it keeps it simple.  Nobody wants to spend time trying to pair and re-pair and sync when all they really need to do is unlock a lock.  Luckily the LockSmart doesn’t make it complicated at all.  I even went a few weeks without using it and when I came back it took a matter of seconds to unlock it again.  If you need shared access, this is easily the best way of doing it short of sharing a combo or making 20 copies of a key.

Everyone asks about security and the company claims it uses 128-bit Bluetooth security.  Some people might argue that 128-bit encryption is a lot more secure than an old school combo or key.  Time will tell.  In my tests, I never felt like it wasn’t 100% locked down and secure.

The LockSmart Mini is $70 and you can buy it directly from Dog & Bone.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.