Padlocks go digital as Aussie company Dog & Bone reinvents

You’ve seen smart-phones, smart-watches, and smart-thermometers, now prepare to meet the smart padlock, and it’s even an Aussie invention.

We’ve all used combination locks before, but while the combo lock is fairly modern technology, it has nothing on a piece of technology a few locals have come up with.

It’s patent pending at the moment, but even before a patent is awarded, you’ll soon find a weather-resistant Bluetooth padlock in stores, with peripheral company Dog & Bone finding a use for Bluetooth beyond headphones and beyond speakers, with this connection being used to unlock a lock.

Designed to work with either the iPhone, iPad, or Android smartphones and tablets, Dog & Bone has remade the padlock so that one of the common devices we carry around — phone or tablet — will unlock the lock, all without a key.


Yes, you can forget about the key because there is no backup here, relying solely on Bluetooth for the unlock mechanism, as well as a login and password. Provided you don’t forget these, you’ll be right, otherwise it’s time to get the bolt cutters out.

The padlock can run out of charge, mind you — it is battery powered, after all — but Dog & Bone does tell GadgetGuy that this can be remedied quickly thanks to a microUSB charge mechanism hidden behind a weatherproof seal.

“Security, access and management are issues we all face with the dated key and combination lock,” said Maria Ranchod, Co-Founder of Dog & Bone.

“LockSmart is much more than a padlock,” she said. Conveniently, it means carrying no keys. But at the same time, it simplifies the process of access management with the ability to exchange ‘virtual keys’.”

The whole “virtual keys” element is something that could be useful for anyone looking to let someone access a shed or a storage area while not being there, able to create extra logins and track when they were made, provided the LockSmart is in range of a wireless device.


“I could be half way across the world, yet instantly share access to my storage shed, boat shed or locker with the click of a button,” said Ranchod.

“When the pool cleaner or gardener comes to the house, I needn’t worry about being home to unlock the front gate. I can share access instantly, track when my lock is accessed and remove access just as quickly, even if I’m physically miles away.”

Security has been thought of, also, with Dog & Bone saying that the codes are encrypted with 128-bit keys, while the padlock can be unlocked using an icon, a passcode, or if you own a fingerprint-connected iPhone or iPad (iPhone 6, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6S Plus), using Touch ID.

“The security standard that LockSmart enjoys, combined with the capability to control and monitor access to locked items, gives users more confidence than ever that their possessions are securely stored, said Ranchod.

Looks like a regular lock, except it's digital. Neat.
Looks like a regular lock, except it’s digital. Neat.

As for durability, we’re told the Dock & Bone LockSmart will come in two options, with an 8mm hardened steel shackle and die-cast Zinc Alloy body, while the smaller version will offer what we suspect is much the same, but with a 7mm shackle. Both have been built to be weather-proof, with the battery capable of lasting up to 3000 opens for up to two years before a recharge is needed.

Pricing on the Dog & Bone LockSmart padlock is, however, a little more than your regular analogue lock, though, starting at $109.95 for the LockSmart Mini, which will arrive in December, while the larger LockSmart will hit stores first for $139.95 this month.