iLoq unveils energy harvesting door lock powered by NFC phones

KEYED IN: iLoq’s new door lock draws its power from a user’s NFC smartphone

Finnish digital lock mechanism specialist iLoq has unveiled the world’s first electronic door lock powered by a user’s NFC mobile phone, removing the need for the lock to be equipped with a battery or external power source.

The iLoq NFC smart lock “harvests electricity from the phone’s NFC induction,” the company says, enabling the user’s smartphone to work “not only as a key but also as a power source for the lock.”

The tiny amount of power the phone supplies during an NFC transaction is used to charge two energy cells in the lock, the first of which is used to authenticate the NFC key and release the locking mechanism. The more energy-intensive part of the the opening process is now performed by the user turning a doorknob. After a set time the energy in the second cell is used to re-lock the mechanism.

“The iLoq NFC is so small it fits almost any kind of lock cylinders, padlocks or cabinet locks,” the company adds. “Real-time access right management is handled by the iLoq Manager cloud service. You can create, share and revoke access rights over the air easily and securely anywhere with just one click on a cloud service.”

The iLoq NFC app is compatible with Android phones and an NFC-based iLoq Fob will be made available for users without a compatible NFC phone. “An iPhone app will be launched as soon as Apple opens up NFC in its devices for developers,” iLoq says.

The smart lock is being demonstrated for the first time this week at CeBIT 2016 and is due to begin shipping in the fourth quarter of 2016. A video gives an overview of iLoq NFC:

“With traditional smart locks, costly regular battery renewal process or expensive wiring is needed to get the locks powered and connected,” says iLoq CEO Mika Pukari. “These costs really start to matter the more locks you have. Now we have combined our expertise in minimum energy smart locks and smartphone’s ability to give energy through the NFC induction.

“Opening the lock works by touching the doorknob with a phone that has access rights to it. Our innovation gives a rapid boost for the smart lock market.”

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