There are a lot of smart lock options out there, and they have proven to be an invaluable tool for those who rent out their spaces through Airbnb or Vrbo. Exchanging keys in person is not always a convenient option, and smart locks allow for doors to be unlocked with only the aid of Bluetooth and a mobile app. However, most smart lock solutions do not provide adequate solutions for those living in apartment buildings.
The majority of urban Airbnb spaces for rent are in apartments or condos. A lot of these buildings have front doors that use intercoms to allow access into the building. Most smart locks do not account for these situations, so are therefore useless for those living in apartment buildings. This is where Bekey comes in.
Bekey is a Danish company that has been in the smart lock industry for 11 years. Their first product was The Orange Box, which installs into the apartment intercom unit. It has been installed in 20.000 apartment buildings in Copenhagen and allows grocery delivery companies and other service companies to get in the front door of their customer's apartment buildings without needing a key.
They recently launched a Kickstarter for their new smart lock system. They have set a goal of kr1.5 million, or about $222,000 US dollars.
The Kickstarter page lists the following primary benefits for owning a Bekey:
- No more lost keys and key exchanges
- Send keys to anyone, no matter where you are in the world
- The keys allow access on the days your guests are there
- The app functions without internet – which makes it ideal for guests visiting from outside their own country
The only major drawback I could see about the Bekey, is that it appears you need a professional electrician to install the orange box into your intercom unit. According to their Kickstarter page:
“We advise you to hire an electrician to install it – unfortunately there are too many types of intercoms for us to make step-by-step guides for non-professionals.
We supply your electrician with the following material, which should make it easy to install within 30 minutes:
-User friendly schematics and guide available through our website, app, and packaging.
-Videos by our technicians that have installed 20.000+ of these units.”
So, on top of buying the lock, which will retail at $399, you'll also need to pay for an electrician, unless you're lucky enough to have one on your friends and family list. Basically, it could take a few Airbnb rental cycles before it pays off.
There are currently several early bird options available if you back Bekey on Kickstarter, that could save you up to $200 on a unit. Bekey also recently reached a unique milestone. In 2014 they passed the goal of providing 10 million door openings. They've set a goal of reaching 15 million door openings in 2015.