Noke has gone all the way from Kickstarter project to fully fledged product that anyone can buy. It brings the lock from the time of keys into the future of lights and Bluetooth.

The Noke smartlock aims to make keys obsolete sending away with them the worry of losing keys and being locked out. You can even send virtual keys to friends.

Since the Noke comes in padlock form it can work in multiple areas. From a side gate at home to your bike on the street, the idea is for Noke to secure everywhere.

We tested the Noke to see if this really is the future of locks.

From setting up the Noke to using it, the process takes minutes. The lock pairs with a smartphone via Bluetooth and allows it to be unlocked using a simple click as long as the phone is near.

Pressing down the shackle lights a coloured LED on the front of the lock, this wakes it for connection. If you have your phone in your pocket the lock will recognise this and flash green as it unlocks. To lock again simply close and the light will flash red to confirm it's locked.

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If you've forgotten your phone, run out of battery, or want someone else to gain access there's another unlock option.

Pressing the shackle down in a combination of short and long presses, in a minimum of eight, can unlock the Noke. This Quick-Click combination can be changed easily from within the app allowing you to vary it for extra security. This can also be deactivated if you only want your phone to unlock the Noke.

We actually found the lag time on Bluetooth connection to the Noke, after the initial shackle press, about long enough to use the combination of shackle presses. So we ended up using Quick-Click more, also saving Bluetooth power on the phone.

The other issue with the phone method was that if the phone was locked, or the app closed, the Noke would not unlock. Taking out the phone to unlock was definitely more of a hassle than the combination method. This can be overcome using a key fob that connects to the Noke and unlocks that way.

Not instantly unlocking as you approach kind of defeats the object of the Noke unless you take into consideration sharing.

If you're out but want to allow a friend access to your home, or your locked up bike, it's as easy as sending a virtual key to them. Using the app they can also unlock the Noke with their smartphone.

When someone uses your key you're notified and can change the history of all locking and unlocking right from the app.

While this could be a useful way to let couriers into your home's side gate, it wouldn't realistically happen until company delivery guys start using the app too.

The feel of the lock is reassuringly weighty while the brushed metal finish is attractive yet sturdy.

Noke is made with hardened steel and boron and features anti-shim tech to stop any would-be thieves. It's also able to withstand the wet and has a battery that will last over a year with regular use. When this needs changing it can be replaced easily using the access port, and since it's a watch battery it'll be cheap.

Even the Bluetooth is secure thanks to a 128-bit AES CCM encryption algorithm along with Noke's PKI tech and cryptographic key exchange protocols.

First Impressions

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The Noke smartlock is certainly a futuristic way to keep your things secure. It's also easy and genuinely takes away the worry of losing your key, as well as the hassle of digging it out.

The Noke can be pre-ordered on Firebox for £59. For a super secure padlock, that's really affordable. Some normal locks, often sold by bike companies, go for way more than that and stick to traditional key systems. 

It's early days for smartlocks so we'll be watching closely for stories of hacking into them, if this happens at all. Until then we're using the Noke at home confident that it's the easiest and most secure way we can keep home safe while still remaining on the cutting edge.