Realizing a thin smart lock*1 key which can be carried in a passcase walletA convenient and secure rechargeable battery was needed for a remotely operatable key in preparation for losing it
*1 A key which operates with Bluetooth and/or Wi-Fi functions of smartphones.
The market for smart locks is rapidly expanding in the office security, smart home and real estate sectors. The global smart lock market is expected to grow to about US$1.9 billion in 2021 and about US$3.9 billion by 2027.*2
Bitkey Inc., which has the No. 1 track record in sales in Japan, provides smart locks for offices and houses. Among them, the "bitlock MINI" designed for residential use was popular for its ease of introduction with low initial cost for installment. The company was developing this technology to develop a service that can be used by people who do not have a smartphone.
*2 Smart Lock Market Global Forecast to 2023 (Markets and markets)
Meeting the needs for variety use cases, but there were also challenges...
The “bitlock MINI”, which is retrofitted to the existing door key, is equipped with an “auto lock function” that detects the opening and closing of the door and automatically locks after the set time has elapsed. In addition, you can check the status whether the door is locked or unlocked, and history of the operation of the key using a smartphone app. Furthermore, using the additional features provided, you can not only lock or unlock the key by entering a passcode, but can also use your smartwatch or existing IC card. Although it has attractive features, there were also challenges with the functioning of the key mechanism that need to overcome.
If a child loses his key, he or she will be in trouble
Bitkey Inc. was developing a card-type key with a reset function and a communication function that can operate a key even from a remote location in case the user loses the key. The size required for the card-type key is small enough to be carried by a child in a passcase wallet.. In addition, considering the efficiency and environmental impact, it is desirable to install rechargeable batteries that do not require battery replacement, rather than using disposable primary (non-rechargeable) batteries. However, they could not find a small, thin and safe rechargeable battery which can be used to supply power for the card-type key they were developing.
Bitkey Inc. wants to realize the card-type key of the thinness and size that can be carried in a pass case wallet.
With communication function added to the card-type key, it needs to be easily operated from a remote position at the ease of pushinga button.
Want to eliminate the need for battery replacement in consideration of efficiency and environmental considerations.