Not content with testing the water with an e-ink watch, Sony has launched a crowdfunding campaign in collaboration with another Japanese company to make the Qrio Smart Lock a reality.
The smart lock can be fitted to any door and allows the lock to be opened using a smartphone app. An encryption feature allows you to share your lock opening code with friends via a secure messaging platform. So, for example, if you’re having a party or a friend is house sitting, you can just send them the code to open your front door rather than giving them a bunch of keys.
The Qrio Smart Lock is expected to retail for around ¥15,000 (£80) and although Sony says the campaign for its e-ink watches was merely testing customer appetite for the product, it looks as though this campaign may be more about developing the ideas further rather than seeing how many people would buy a universal smart lock.
The crowdfunding page describes the lock as having a neutral, minimalist design made from aluminium to match any lifestyle and door style.
The company, in collaboration with Qrio, wanted to create the world’s smallest, unique lock with a design that can respond to the overwhelming selection of door types.
Sony and Qrio wanted the design to be as easy as possible to install, so they say anyone can install easily without any tool, such as a screwdriver. It uses an adhesive sheet to be fixed in place, but is strong enough to withstand everyday use.
The fact it can be stuck on rather than screwed means it doesn’t damage the door, making it ideal for rental properties.
The Qrio Smart Lock is powered by a high-capacity lithium battery (CR123A) that can provide up to 500 days of use. There’s also two backup batteries, meaning it’ll last for a total of 1000 days or more of continuous operation.
Sony has raised ¥4.5m (£24,000) to develop the product, despite its goal only being ¥1.5m (£8000).