Deeper Lock Fights Bike Theft Using Smart Tech

Engineers at Deeper Lock have built a smarter, tougher bike lock.

The engineering team at Deeper had a common problem – in cities around the globe they had all been the victims of bicycle theft. Chain and cable locks were cut and U-locks were broken. Researching the problem of theft they found that 1.5 million bikes are stolen every year in the US, and one bike is stolen every 90 seconds in the United Kingdom. Their solution to this problem is Deeper Lock, called ‘the smartest toughest bike security ever.’

Chief Technical Officer Donatas Malinauskas answered a few questions for us about the development of Deeper Lock. He said that one of the most critical design decisions was the inclusion of hardened steel for the casing – protection of the electronics inside and the ability to withstand theft attempts were great benefits. However the steel added expense and manufacturing complexity. The greatest design challenge was packaging. Once the features were decided and the envelope specified, the product design team had to work through several iterations to make sure everything fit inside the casing. Finding the right shape and plastic coating to keep the inner electronics free from weather elements was another big design challenge. One feature that was investigated but not implemented is inductive charging. Ideally the motion of the bike and the rider could charge the Deeper Lock, but it was difficult to make the design as robust as needed for mass production. The team used solar charging instead, and the campaign page says that three days outside per month are enough to keep the battery fully charged.

Deeper Lock incorporates GPS tracking for your bicycle, a 110 decibel alarm, anti-theft alerts, a self-charging solar panel and a hardened steel lock that can withstand 5 tons of force. Testing has been done in environments from -20 to 40 degrees Celsius on the electronics and casing. An app gives users the ability to lock and unlock the bike, two forms of encryption, anti-theft alerts and an option to share the bike’s location with friends and family. The deeper lock unit is 132 x 162 x 32 millimeters and weighs 630 grams.

This looks like a great approach to using high tech electronics solutions to solve the low tech problem of bicycle theft. One notable item is the campaign’s very busy comment section, where most potential users seem to take this leap in technology for granted but have concerns over whether or not the lock will fit on their specific model of bicycle. The page also has a great set of prototype photos and design sketches, always a big plus for me. Deeper Lock’s campaign will end on August 24, 2017 and if successful first units are expected to ship in March 2018.