Famous American illusionist and escape artist Harry Houdini found himself in a bind in 1925. Quite literally, in fact. During a show, he couldn’t escape a pair of sheriff’s handcuffs. Humiliated, Houdini consulted locksmith Harry Soref before his next performance, who taught the escapologist how to hide padlock keys under his tongue. Just over 90 years later, Soref’s company, Master Lock, is still going and has a new trick up its sleeve.
The Bluetooth Smart Padlock doesn’t require a key (that you can lose) or number combination (that you can forget) to unlock, instead you set it up it to recognise your phone and it will unlock whenever its near. Using its companion app for your phone, the padlock will also send you alerts if someone tries to tamper with it when you’re not around. If you’re phone dies, you can still enter a directional code into the keypad – ‘up, down, left, right,’ for example.
The Smart Padlock comes in two types: the £60/$70 three-inch (8cm) indoor model pictured here that’s good for toolboxes and lockers and a £70/$90 five-inch (13cm) outdoor variant, which is waterproof and has a five-year battery life, ideal for sheds and gates. While it’s not completely waterproof, the indoor Master Lock has dual metal layers to help not only make it rock solid, but also to help protect the sensors contained within. Both models also take a CR2450 coin battery, which lasts up to two years before needing to be easily replaced.
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If your Master Lock is used in communal areas, you may want to set up access for guests. Through the accompanying app, select the ‘Add A Guest’ option to get started. From here you can enter the contact details of the person you want to have access to your passcode, as well as send them a notification letting them know they’ve been added to your ‘trusted’ list. What makes this feature even better is that you can select how often they’re able to use the code. One-time access is plausible, but it can be customised further to only allow access at certain times.