If you own a Chromebook you can unlock it automatically using an Android feature called Smart Lock. Unfortunately there’s no direct equivalent for Mac or PC fans, but one new Kickstarter project has a pretty clever alternative.
Gablys Locker uses Bluetooth to make sure your laptop is always unlocked when you need it thanks to small keychain-sized gadget and some clever software. Once you’re done with some quick set-up the entire thing should work automatically. Just walk up to your computer and it’s ready to go. Walk away and it will lock right up again.
The device itself looks pretty nice. It just a small piece of plastic with a basic geometric design, but there’s something very appealing about that simplicity. It also comes in a bunch of different color options, weighs just 13 grams and offers a 3-week battery that charges via microUSB.
On the software side of things there are a few basic requirements. Your computer needs to have Bluetooth 4, though you can always pick up a special dongle if you’re running an older model. You’ll also need at least Mac OS X 10.9 or Windows 8.1.
The app itself is easy to setup and barely even noticeable to anyone else. If you want you can add a special message that shows up on your lockscreen, and if you forget the Bluetooth device you can always use your regular password. There’s also an SDK so developers can build support for Gablys Locker into specific apps.
You can pre-order Gablys Locker for as little as €18 ($20) and receive it in August thanks to a limited early bird special. The company is also offering two for €36 ($39), though it won’t arrive until September. Other bulk options include three units for€53 ($58) or 10 for€165 ($181). That last tier isn’t set to ship until October, and includes the options to brand each Bluetooth chip with your company’s logo.
Of course there are some risks, and you shouldn’t be too shocked if the release gets delayed by an extra month or two. Gablys Locker has a strong team behind it though, so hopefully it won’t run into any major issues assuming it’s able to hit its crowdfunding goals in the first place.