About this project
Our Kickstarter Campaign is over, but you can still pre-order a LockedUSB Adapter. Find us at www.LockedUSB.com for more info and to place your order.
Are you at risk of compromising your data while using that USB charging station at the Airport or in the Hotel room while traveling?
Is your Phone or Tablet charging as fast as it can?
Do you want to charge your device at Work or School without synching to the computer?
As the folks at Krebs on Security report, "...those innocent-seeming charging stations could easily turn from saviors to devious data thieves. Those charging stations could easily be configured to copy data from your smartphone — or to even install malware on the device."
PC Magazine security watch's Max Eddy reports; "For this year's upcoming Black Hat conference, the abstract for one talk in particular has caught peoples' eyes. In it, researchers say they will demonstrate an innocuous-looking public charging station that can seize control of your iOS device.
Andy Greenberg at Forbes first drew our attention to the upcoming presentation titled "Mactans: Injecting Malware Into iOS Device Via Malicious Chargers." Authors Billy Lau, Yeongjin Jang, and Chengyu Song write that their malicious charger—dubbed "Mactans"—is built off a BeagleBoard, three-inch square single-board computer from Texas Instruments."
That's scary, but there is no reason to panic.
LockedUSB is an small USB adapter that allows secure charging of your personal devices. It enables portable devices to fast-charge, at their maximum rated current, anywhere there is a USB port. It physically disconnects the data lines, while keeping intruders away from your personal information.
Hearing your phone chirp desperately, in order to alert you that it's running out of battery power is heartbreaking, especially when you're stuck in an airport, hotel, or shopping center. Public charging stations are becoming more and more popular everywhere you go. Unfortunately, Identity Theft, Government surveillance, "rogue" and unstable chargers, are also on the rise. I've searched the internet to find a firewall device, or specialized cable, that would provide the security I was looking for, and to my surprise there was nothing out there that offered secure charging capabilities. I wanted to make a simple adapter, which I could use my own device's cable, and have peace of mind that my personal data and information was secure. I have designed a compact USB adapter that completely disconnects the data lines, while simultaneously providing the maximum allowed charging power so I can charge-up quickly and safely.
LockedUSB Charger Firewall and power optimizer was born, a single adapter that allows charging, while keeping the USB data lines physically disconnected from the host device. It also switches between multiple configurations, in order to guarantee maximum charging power which reduces charging time.
LockedUSB is very easy to use, just Plug it into the USB charging port, use your device's charging cable and Done, you are Secure.
LockedUSB Adapter Power Optimizer Demo
What does it do?
- Enables USB charging while disconnecting the USB data lines.
- Allows portable devices to fast-charge at their maximum rated current, reducing your charge time.
- Exercise the Data lines to negotiate the maximum charging capability.
- ESD protected Surge protection up to 2.3 Amps
- Small package USB type A Male to USB Type A Female Adapter
LockedUSB Charging Time Test
How does it do it?
Inside the adapter we have a dedicated controller chip and current limiting power switch. An auto-detect feature monitors USB data line voltage, and automatically provides the correct electrical signatures on the data lines and allows portable devices to fast charge at their maximum rated current while keeping the data lines completely isolated.
LockedUSB Adapter support, to varying degrees, four of the most common USB charging schemes found in popular hand-held media and cellular devices:
- USB Battery Charging Specification BC1.2
- Chinese Telecommunications Industry Standard YD/T 1591-2009
- Divider Mode 1 and Divider Mode 2
- 1.2V Mode
YD/T 1591-2009 is a subset of the BC1.2 specification which supports the vast majority of devices that implement USB charging. Divider modes 1 and 2 and 1.2V charging schemes support popular devices from specific manufacturers.
New Color Choice for Cable
We are very excited to now offer a color choice for the 3-in-1 cable!! We checked with our supplier and got the news that we have the color option of Black or White. No need to decide today! We will send a survey before we ship your LockedUSB adapter to verify your address and any order detail.
As a Thank you for your Support each Pledge comes with 10GB of Encrypted Private Online Backup, Sync & Sharing.
Even though all your data is stored encrypted, you can carefully and selectively allow portions of your files/data to be shared (or become public) to family, friends, colleagues, or clients. You can create a “ShareRoom” by choosing any number of folders from several of your computers. A ShareRoom may be accessed as a unique web URL or by entering a user's ShareID and RoomKey on the server side – easily allowing people you invite to view your documents, pictures, movies, and so on.
Additionally, as you make additions or edits to the folders (no matter what computer those changes are made on), the changes are automatically viewable to those who have access to the “ShareRoom” This process is definitely more efficient than having to constantly upload new changes to an FTP site or resend big files via e-mail.
Your data is readable to you alone. Most online storage systems only encrypt your data during transmission, and do not encrypt the data while it is resting on their servers. This means that anyone with access to the servers your data is stored on (such as the company's staff) could appropriate it. Or, even if your data is encrypted during storage, your password (or set of encryption keys) is often stored along with your data, thus making your data easily viewable by anyone with access to those servers.
Our encryption is comprehensive -- even with physical access to the storage servers, Our staff cannot know even the names of your files and folders. On the server side, all that Our staff can see, are sequentially numbered containers of encrypted data. In this way, we have no way of retrieving or turning your data to anyone.
Will it work with my device?
Yes, LockedUSB is designed to work with all USB powered devices, Smartphones, Tablets, MP3 players, Digital Cameras and more.
Here is a list of devices we have already tested:
- iPhone (3GS, 4, 4S, 5)
- Samsung Galaxy S2 and S3
- iPad ( iPad2, Retina, iPad mini)
- Nexus 7
- HTC one
What we've done thus far...
We started with a hand-made prototype for a dedicated charger, while it was functional, it was very large, it didn't work with the latest devices (Android and iPhones 5s) and it didn’t provide any protection from large current surges or energy transients.
Then, we started looking for a controller that would exercise the data lines and provide the right signature and handshake signal to the host device, in order to request the maximum power available from the power source, while keeping the data lines disconnected from the charger simultaneously. After several prototypes, we were able to came up with a small adapter with all the features mentioned before.
As of right now:
Beta Prototype - Completed
Alpha Prototype PCB fabrication - Completed
Alpha Prototype PCB assembly - Completed
Preliminary case design - CompletedBeta PCB Schematics and layout - Completed
Your pledges will go towards building our initial goal of 1000 units, paying for the plastic injection mold tooling, the casing itself, test fixtures, assembly, packaging and shipping of rewards.
If this project is successfully funded, we will be able to source the Bill of Materials and PCB on larger quantities, which will allow us to keep the price down.
Manufacturing will be by a contract manufacturer, located here in the USA. We have already secured a quote, and time-line, for our initial production of 1000 units, with an option to manufacture up to 5000 units in the same time frame. Ultimately, we will be looking for turn-key services. Initially we will be using assembly services only, and we will be programming and testing the boards ourselves.
We have also secured a quote for sourcing the Electronics components in quantity from Avnet North America (Atlanta GA office) and Arrow Electronics for 1000 units (they have at least 10,000 units in-stock of all components needed on the Bill of Materials)
Estimated Project Schedule
Manufacturing Plan: (*On Working days)
Kickstart Funding (September 21st) .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Days
Amazon payment 14 days Holding Funds (October 11th)
Pre-Production Prototype PCB Layout. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Days
Pre-Production Prototype PCB Manufacturing . . . . . . . . . . .15 Days
Pre-Production Prototype Assembly. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Days
Mold Tooling Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . 15 days
Prototype Mechanical and Electrical testing . . . .. . . .. . . . . 5 Days
Molding tool manufacturing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Days
Final Production PCB Layout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Days
Production PCB Manufacturing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 days
Production Units Assembly. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Days
Production Units Testing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Days
Packaging & shipping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . 5 Days
Estimated Delivery of Rewards:
February 2014 (**please make sure to check the “Risks and Challenges sections for more details)
At LM Engineering Designs; we are group of Research and Development Engineers with over 14 years of combined research product & development. We analyze market trends, then design real-world solutions in emerging technologies for fortune 500 companies. To date, we have introduced over 5+ products to the high-tech marketplace.
Leonardo Matute - Hardware Designer
Principal Electrical Engineer with 11+ years experienced on Embedded hardware design, telecommunication, biometrics and security.
Mara Santiago - Marketing, Sales and Support team
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Risks and challenges
Still to test:
* Power Consumption (we need to make sure that the adapter doesn't affect the host device in any way)
* Device compatibility (some devices may require additional testing)
* Mechanical implementation Unforeseen Issues.
* Manufacturing delays
Keep in mind that two national Holidays are in between now and the completion of this project (Thanksgiving and Winter Holiday breaks), this could directly affect our manufacturing schedule and delay rewards shipments.
**Quality control is always a challenge for electronic products, even for something as small and simple as a USB Adapter. We have talked to the manufacturer extensively about their QA process and even asked them to add additional testing steps -- and they have agreed to do so.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Kickstarter does not allow bulk ordering of rewards, "Offering multiple quantities can imply that rewards are shrink-wrapped and ready to ship when they’re not. With some projects, we'll make exceptions for what we consider sensible sets..."
If you would like Multiples of the LockedUSB, you can just add the following to your pledge and contact us, so we can note your pledge with any additional adapters.
The "Early Bird Special" are limited only to one per pledge, however you can still get a special below retail pricing if you help us reach our goal.
Add the following to your pledge if you would like more than one.
$14 1x extra LockedUSB adapter
$25 1x extra LockedUSB adapter + 3-in-1 USB cable
$5 per each additional item - International Shipping
It is VERY IMPORTANT that you contact us after you pledge for additional units, without the notation we are unable to determine what was added to your pledge.
Our controller chip does not communicate with the host device, all it does it set the right electrical signature (Voltages) so that the host device set itself up as it is connected to a charger (no Data communication, higher power).
However, you don't have to take our word for it, The data line in LockedUSB are completely isolated, they are physically disconnected from the charger side to the device side, even if the controller we are using contain somehow any "Code" that may want to break into your Phone, there is NO way for any data to go anywhere.
Even if we somehow have some type of trojan horse, the device does not communicate with the outside world, all it does it control power. You will have the device with you at all time, so no way for us or anyone to access it.
What is the difference between this device and taking a USB adaptor and scratching off the data connection leads?
Taking the leads or scratching them off a connector or adapter will not accomplish the same effect as LockedUSB. While yes indeed the data communication will be interrupted and isolated, the power will be as well.
Allow me to explain briefly, When modem USB devices get connected to a host, it check for a specifics signature on the data lines (D+, D-), this is to let the device know what type of source it is being connected to and how much power it can draw, this is how smartphones and tablet determine if it is connected to a computer or a charger.
If you just take the leads of the connector the Data lines will be floating and no signature would be found by the device, in this cases the device go into low power mode. in iOS/Apple devices you see a message that reads "charging is not supported with this accessory".
LockedUSB still provide this Data signature to the device while keeping the host isolated, this way you can charge safely and quickly.
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