At every tech-conference there are the companies that spend an inordinate sums of money to ensure they are noticed. Typically these companies would be situated in the main hall, with a massive professionally designed stand which takes a team of skilled assemblers days to set up. The company’s stand seems to be directionally proportional to their market share – growing in size as their market share does in order to outdo their competition.
At every tech-conferences, I have a secret-mission; to try spot a “smaller” company that has a really great product or service but doesn’t have the budget of the corporate giants. These type of companies are normally found in the depth of Hall 18 in a non-descript stand or are part of a shared-stand hosted under their country’s pavilion.
At this year’s CeBIT 2015, amongst the usual numbered halls, there was one surreptitiously named Code_N which was dedicated to start-ups, small operations, with specific niche products or services that are just breaking into the market. Some of these companies were in the development stage and had even launched yet. The problem I found when speaking to these tech gurus is that while being geniuses when it comes to their technology, they can’t run a bath let along a business. This is a true shame as unless they are bought out or bring in a business person, in all likelihood we will never see their technology come to commercial realisation.
However, deep inside this hall was the “secret” company I was looking for. I met with Justin Hanning, sales director at FUZdesigns
Introducing Noke by FUZdesigns
FUZdesigns is a company based our of the US which produces a lock that does not require a key to unlock it. Essentially the lock is paired via Bluetooth to a mobile phone so when the owner comes to unlock the lock, a simple click down on the lock is all that is required to unlock it. – no need to find a key or remember a combination. This solution makes it ideal for people who share a locked item with someone else eg. sharing a boat locker with a family member. Access can be given on a permanent basis or can be done on a once off case.
What happens if your phone is lost or battery dies ?
This is the obvious question – no phone means can’t unlock the bike to ride home. FUZdesigns have thought about this too and have built in a manual override. Simply tap down the steel bar in a Morse-code like manor consisting of long and short clicks. Once the code is clicked, it will unlock itself without the need for your phone.
The NoKe product (pronounced “No Key”) started its life on Kickstarter Campaign where the company hoped to raise $100 000. However over 6108 backers later and they raised $652 828. Each lock is now being sold on their website at $69.99.
Justin confirmed that they are in the process of working with global distributors and and there is even one signed up in South Africa.