Apple's Touch ID was a step change in convenience for securing its mobile devices, and now that same level of convenience is available in a padlock. The Tapplock One is now shipping, and features a fingerprint sensor for unlocking, as well as a companion app with a Bluetooth unlock backup.
The Tapplock One began its existence on Indiegogo with a crowdfunding campaign back in 2016, but now it's out and shipping, both direct from Tapplock and from a number of retail partners. The gadget features IP66 weather resistance and works in temperatures between 14 F and 140 F, and has battery life of up to one year on a single charge.
Tapplock One's real advantage over other smart padlocks is its versatility – you can unlock it three different ways, including via fingerprint and Bluetooth, as mentioned, but also using a "Morse-Code" backup pattern of pressing the power button with either long or short presses. That means that no matter what the failure scenario, you always have a way out, so long as there's battery charge remaining.
The app also supports provisioning remote access, meaning you can let someone else unlock it with there devin via Bluetooth, too. It's a smart and handy feature, especially if you're sharing access to a shed or storage unit with an Airbnb guest, for instance, or anyone else staying at your place.
You can tell from the heft and feel of the Tapplock One that it's solidly constructed, and indeed so far in my testing it's held up well to they elements protecting my outdoor shed. It's survived snow and ice, and still reads my registered fingerprints reliability via the small square pad in the center of the lock's face.
The Tapplock One's main weakness might be its proprietary charger. It's good for durability and surviving exposure to the elements, but it's bad because you need the cable that came with the lock, and I have to imagine you'll be hard-pressed to remember where you put it when that once-yearly charging is needed.
At just $99 US, the Tapplock One isn't going to break the bank, and though it's more expensive than a traditional key or combo-only variant, the smart features make using it extremely convenient. I don't know how many padlocks I've owned have ended their useful career buried in drawers because I couldn't remember the combination after a few months' break from using them.
- This article originally appeared on TechCrunch.