The ThoughtCopter team has 30 days left in its Kickstarter campaign to raise $100,000 for the Lock-Bot, an upgrade to the well-known lockbox that property owners have been using for years. What makes Lock-Bot different is that it takes advantage of a property's Wi-Fi signal to create unique codes for each person authorized to access it. This prevents people from sharing codes or using them when they’re not supposed to. The Wi-Fi capability also allows the owner to receive text messages letting them know when their renter has checked in and out.
According to Rick Gonzalez, Founder and Inventor of the Lock-Bot,
“Driven by economic incentive, multitudes of people are seizing the chance to post properties that they currently live in, as well as vacation properties that they might own. The growth in this sector has not arrived without controversy. The established base of hotels and tax authorities in some of the larger markets are reacting to inevitable decline in their customer base. In addition, the technologies and laws to support the individual property owner willing to host perfect strangers need to mature.”
Lock-Bot seeks to bring peace-of-mind to both owners and renters in the sharing economy. “The internet of things needs to provide real value to people. The Lock-Bot empowers both the property owner and the renter to connect in a way that’s immediate and timely, right where the communication needs to happen,” Gonzalez adds. A renter, arriving at the accommodations that they've reserved, may sometimes be faced with confusion at the time of check-in. Is the unit ready? Is this the right door? Will I be sure to have the ability to get in whenever I arrive? The renter may be in an unfamiliar city and can't fully control their arrival time. And as websites and apps provide an advancement in technology to allow owners to post and manage these properties, hardware technology is the perfect addition to the sharing economy.
According to the Lock-Bot campaign, this device provides an “arsenal of defense” in this new ecosystem.
The team behind the Lock-Bot has been working on balancing cost and durability, testing the product and the software, and aims to have early release products ready to ship to supporters by May. The Kickstarter campaign ends on Tue, Dec 9 2014 at 1:11 PM PST.