Ok, to be clear, The Cricket is not a bike lock, per se. The device, currently running an IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign, looks to bring a smarter, connected approach to securing your two wheels. The ‘smart alarm’ looks to follow a trail blazed by both BitLock and Lock8.
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Calling itself a lightweight ‘silent’ bicycle alarm, the device is tiny – only 30mm wide and 9mm, weighing only 20 grams. It attached to your bike with a velco strap or, for the premium version, a U-lock. It connects to your iPhone via Bluetooth 4.0 acting as a beacon up to 50 meters away. In terms of bicycle movements, that’s not particularly far. The Cricket is powered by an internet 3-Axis MEMS accelerometer, detecting when your bike is being moved and sends a notification to your smartphone and triggers an alarm – the default sound of which is appropriately enough, a cricket.
The true genius of the device is in crowdsourcing its data.
Once you mark your bike as ‘stolen’ every Cricket user – provided there are enough – become anonymous participants, scanning for your stolen bike and notifying you once it’s been found.
There are some pros and cons to using a solely Bluetooth connection: once your bike – or you – are out of range, The Cricket becomes less smart very fast. The more expensive Lock8 uses GPS, so it could be tracked anywhere in the world. Also, despite how subtly you attach the alarm, a velco strap wouldn’t stop many bike thieves, especially if they knew what they were looking for.