Canadian Entrepreneur Aims to Disrupt Padlock Industry with Smartphone Integration

The smart phone is proving to be the Swiss Army Knife of disruptive technologies. We’ve already seen it usurp flashlights and mirrors, and eradicate the once-lucrative hand-held fart sound effects maker industry. Now, it’s taking on keys with the Bluetooth-enabled TEO padlock.

Developed by Whitehorse-based business owner Gord Duncan while vacationing with his family, the TEO is a high-tech padlock that eliminates the need for 25-cent metal keys, replacing them with the need for $600 smartphones and reliable sources of electricity.

The TEO can be unlocked with a Bluetooth-enabled phones, which in itself doesn’t sound immediately exciting; Techvibes has recently covered inventions like the Nymi, which syncs to your heartbeat and unlocks all kinds of different things.

The advantage of the TEO is that access can be shared, revoked, and time-limited through the padlock’s app. With this in place, the use cases for TEO explode: cottage owners can schedule renters’ access instead of hiding keys under the weird-looking rock near the front porch; warehouses can provide Dangerous Chemical Locker access to suitably trained employees; bikes can be shared by couples who can afford neither a car nor a second bike. If it functions as advertised and can’t be easily hacked, then provided everyone keeps their phones charged, the TEO is very promising.

TEO is currently raising funding through a Kickstarter campaign.