Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Bitlock: The world's first keyless bike lock to enable low cost peer-to-peer bike sharing among individuals and communities.
Bitlock: The world's first keyless bike lock to enable low cost bike sharing
Bitlock: The world's first keyless bike lock to enable low cost bike sharing
1,268 backers pledged $127,228 to help bring this project to life.

Recent updates

Photos

1aba200a35f44b003713a44976cdf942 original
F1edfd8e6730a7a2739b0c22a6d9be0e original
E7b7a85f79a941103ee87746e5501a23 original
D31628a41856b1238444a98352209045 original
37123fbd93d1a05f2b8ebe3e778238ea original
7da8456a121ddeb5443316731319de44 original
05d9e1565593581cf3a6d5c636264d66 original
343cec8753591835cddea79106b0caa1 original
D7277711d2d0a70a57da807a6d58efb2 original
D50ceb51356676903388e3e60467bd8c original
611ce7a0eeece984ebd55281096103bf original
5211a5adb7d52ed27808b5c172d1f7b5 original

Shipping update and more

2 likes

Dear backers, 

 In this update we outline the current shipping status, and address questions we are frequently receiving from backers regarding the product and the app. 

Shipping

During the past month we shipped around 400 units to domestic backers. 

If you are among these backers, and have not opened your package and registered your BitLock, please do it now. We really need your feedback. Since the first shipment batch, we have made numerous improvements to both Android and iPhone apps, based on the backers feedback. 

We still have some work to do to perfect the app and we need as much feedback as possible to improve the user experience. (Below in this post, we go through some of the feedback we received from backers and the follow-on improvements accordingly.) 

However, we ran into several issues with international shipping and we decided to partner up with a logistics company to bulk ship all of the remaining rewards together. Here’s a summary of challenges we had to address: 

 a) The cost of shipping with door-to-door tracking information to many international destinations has been enormous. For example FedEx to most European countries cost above $100! We needed to figure out a way to offer door-to-door tracking while keeping the shipping cost reasonable. To address this, we partnered with a shipping logistics company who will bulk ship to each country and then use local post in destination country to the recipient. They will simply send a truck to our warehouse next week and they take care of distribution for us. 

 b) VAT/Duties: We also wanted to minimize value added tax and duty burden on the recipient. Our logistic partner will be helping us to achieve that as well. 

c) Customs: we needed to make sure all of the documents that are necessary to clear customs in each country are included in the package. 

Survey unanswered

 We still do not have the information of over 400 of our backers. We must have your information including your address before we can ship to you. Since we are bulk shipping our next batch, we need everyone to finish the survey by next week June 15th. Otherwise we must place you in the next shipping batch with the recent non-Kickstarter pre-orders scheduled for beginning of August. We are going to send a survey reminder through BackerKit again. If you have never received the survey, please check your spam folder. 

PLEASE FILL OUT THE SURVEY
PLEASE FILL OUT THE SURVEY

 Android app release

 In case you missed it, Android App has been on Google Play for the last couple of weeks. We made three releases during this time addressing some bugs backers reported. The Android app is now a lot more robust on many devices than before. You can install the app from here: 

  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=co.bitlock&hl=en

App improvement

 We received a lot of feedback from backers and made numerous improvements to both iPhone and Android app. Here’s a short list of issues/comments: 

1) Non-Facebook login 

 In the first app release, we only had Facebook login. We quickly implemented non-Facebook login system to offer different options to all users. This is now fully implemented on both iOS and Android. 

 2) Off-line login 

 Please note that the app is designed so that you do not have be connected to internet to use your BitLock. You only need to have data on your phone the first time you register BitLock and log into the app. Previously there were some glitches that forced the user to re-log in once in a while. The issue is fixed in the upcoming app release. 

 3) Dark screen after launching the app 

 If you have been using the app constantly you might have noticed that sometimes after opening the app, the screen would go dark and you had to restart the app to get through the dark screen. This was an issue with detecting internet/servicer reachability to automatically switch to offline mode. The issue is fixed in the upcoming app release (pending apple review). 

 4) Android device compatibility 

 Some Android users had reported issues with Bluetooth connection. We have addressed most of these issues in the current Android app. There might still be some issues especially with old devices running lollipop 5 and above versions of Android. The application is very stable on all Samsung, Motorola, HTC, and Nexus 5,6 phones. 

 FAQ: 

 1) How to delete/update lock information: 

 To edit or delete the lock from the app, on iPhone you should left swipe on the lock item to reveal the “Edit” and “Remove” options. This is a standard iOS widget. On Android you should long press on the lock name to reveal the “Edit” and “Remove” icons. 

 2) How does the combination code works? 

 Please watch this video that explains entering the code. Basically the code is entered as a sequence of button presses switching from one button to the next at each digit. For example four presses means number 4. To enter the combination, you must long press either of the buttons for three seconds. Also, it does not matter which button you choose to start the sequence. 

  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6M7_AeXfp0 

 If you enter the combination incorrectly, you must wait for the lock to go back sleep mode to re-try. We are going to make some improvements to the combo system through an over the air update to allow for multiple re-tries.

 3) Why the lock does not change state when I press the button? 

 Please note that you must not pull the U-bar when pressing the button on the lock or place the locking mechanism under any tension. The locking system will refuse to move if it detects any tension. This is designed to prevent the shackle (U-bar) from falling off if hanging from the lock under accidental button presses during the transport. Please make sure you put the phone inside your pocket and use both your hands, with one hand on the base and the other on the shackle to unlock. Similar to any lock, you need to use both hands to remove the U-bar. One-handed operation is impractical. 

 4) I cannot fine the Android app on Google Play.

 If you cannot find the Android app on Google Play, It means your phone is not supported. Google automatically hides the app if your phone is not supported. 

 5) Did I receive the wrong T-shirt size? 

Please do not rely on the labeling on the T-shirts. The T-shirts are made in Taiwan and follow Asian size standard. Please try on the t-shirt and do not judge the labeling.

 6) What happens after 5 years when the battery dies? 

You can easily replace the battery after 5 years. You will get a notification on your phone when the battery level is low. The battery level feature will come in the next app update. 

 7) What if BitLock is locked when the battery dies? How do I open the lock if that happens? 

 We prevent BitLock from locking back if the battery level drops below the certain threshold. In the very unlikely scenario that the lock battery dies when it is locked (assuming that you ignore the low battery notifications for a long time, and store the lock for many years after the low battery notification), there's a hidden Micro USB emergency port that you use to power the lock and release the U-bar. The port is under the blue cover and you need to cut a portion of the cover to access it. We decided to completely cover the port since it would probably never get used and exposing it would also create water-proofing issues. 

Thanks for your support, 

BitLock Team

Unboxing your BitLock and Getting Started

8 likes

Dear Kickstarter backers,

We finally received the shipment yesterday. It took us almost a week to release the shipment and clear the customs. We are now preparing the shipping labels and commerce shipping tomorrow.

Since we decided to handle the shipping of the first patch ourselves due to the complicated reward levels (different T-shirt sizes and SKUs), we anticipate to ship around 200 to 300 units a week. Please share your feedback with us once you receive the lock. 

To get started with have made the following tutorial videos on how to set up your combination code inside the app and enter the combo code into the lock. We highly recommend that you go through the process of entering the combination code into the lock as soon as you register your lock.

Non-facebook login:

We have already added regular username/password login system to the application. We are in the final stages of testing the login system and hopefully the new application will be released by Monday next week (April 27th). The main reason for Facebook login was to allow users to share access and location of their bikes with their friends on Facebook. After changing the Facebook login, we had to make some changes to support access sharing through email invitation.

Android application:

All of the features are now stable on Android. We are doing our best to bring Android to Google Play by Monday, April 27th.

For Backer from San Francisco:

We are offering local pickup option to backer from San Francisco. Please email us at support@bitlock.co to coordinate a pickup time from our office at the following location:

315 Bay St Floor 4 San Francisco, CA 94133

Thank you all,

Mehrdad and the BitLock team

Shipping starts next week + exclusive add-ons on BackerKit

6 likes

Dear backers,

We’d like to thank you again for your patience and your support during the past year. Based on the last update, we should have started shipping BitLock to you by now but an unfortunate turn of events caused further delays in the shipment of our container from the factory. The shipment left the factory in beginning of February but the ports in Taiwan were congested because of the Chinese new year, and the shipment was directed to Korea and from Korea to Oakland. Below is the tracking information provided to us by the shipping company:

Tracking information
Tracking information

The good news is that the shipment is finally arriving on April 11th (in 4 days). It may take a couple of days to clear shipment through the customs and release the container. We expect to begin shipping the first batch on April 15th.

The iPhone app is on App Store!

Our iPhone application was approved by Apple yesterday after a one month wait. We had to ship a sample hardware to Apple for reviewing both hardware and the application. We are still working on some features of the application such as activity and motion tracking leveraging Apple’s motion co-processor. This feature will come as an application update in the next release of the app.

To download the app, search for “BitLock” on App store or use the following link:

https://appsto.re/us/UWQh6.i

Android application:

We are still testing the Android application on more devices. As of now we have tested the Android application on the following devices. We plan to ship the devices to backers who own the tested devices first and continue shipping as we test more popular devices:

Nexus 5, Nexus 6 (KitKat and Lollipop) Samsung Galaxy S4, S4 Mini, A3, S5 (KitKat) Motorola Droid Mini, Moto G, Moto X (KitKat) HTC One M8 (KitKat)

Final specifications:

Below is the final specifications of BitLock.

Dimensions:

Steel U-bar thickness: 12.6 mm (0.5 inch) 

Steel U-bar length: 218 mm (8.6 inch) 

Steel U-bar width: 145 mm (4.5 inch) 

Cross bar tube length: 196 mm (7.7 inch) 

 Cross bar tube diameter: 36 mm (1.4 inch)

Total weight: 3 lb 5 oz (1.5 Kg)

Battery life: 10,000 interactions (locks and unlocks) or 5 years (battery easily replaceable)

Colors
Colors

BackerKit survey and shipping fee:

1) Backer survey is being reviewed by the BackerKit team. The survey should be emailed out to you in about 2 days. Please provide your phone make and model in the survey so that we make sure the app is fully tested your phone before we ship BitLock to you.

2) You can add additional items to your pledge. As a token of appreciation for your support, we are offering 500 BitLocks at $89 price ($30 under our retail price) as an add-on exclusive to Kickstarter backers.

3) If you are based in US and have not already paid for shipping, you will be ask to add $15 to the total pledge amount. The shipping cost for domestic backers is lowered from the $20 amount to $15.

4) We will combine all items and the shipping cost will be flat rate for domestic backers.

5) For international backers, $10 will be added to the shipping cost for each add-on item.

Custom color BitLocks:

Due to complications in supply chain management, we were forced to assemble and ship the custom color BitLock separately. They are expected to get here in a few weeks, by early May. We are going to have these units shipped through air so that we don’t have to wait for ocean freight.

Please feel free to reach us at support@bitlock.co

Love you all, 

Mehrdad and BitLock team

Assembly finished & BitLocks departed factory!

20 likes

Dear backers,

The exciting moment has arrived. After over a year of non-stop work, with its many sleepless nights, highs and lows, innumerable rounds of tweaks, improvements, and testing, we hit the finish line.

Loading the container
Loading the container
Container leaving the factory
Container leaving the factory

During the past month, we managed to wrap up production and assembly in our facility in Taiwan just one week before the Chinese new year!

Assembly line
Assembly line
assembly line 2
assembly line 2
assembly line 3
assembly line 3
BitLock before packaging
BitLock before packaging
 project video thumbnail
Unmute
Play with
sound
Automatic punching machine!

Because the vessel schedule was packed before the Chinese new year, we had to send the first shipment from Taiwan to the port of Oakland via Korea. The shipment is expected to arrive to the port of Oakland in 3-4 weeks (i.e. mid March).

One the shipment is inspected and cleared through US customs, we will move it to our local warehouse and begin shipping to backers from there.

We have prepared the survey through BackerKit and it will be sent out by the end of this week to get your shipping information.

More detailed information regarding fulfillment (how to adjust or upgrade your pledge through BackerKit, add shipping, VAT related matters etc ) will come in the next update once the survey is out.

For backers from Canada:

The Certification and Engineering Bureau (CEB) is currently in the process of updating the online E-filing application and is shut down their E-Filing service for a period of two weeks. We must wait to get CEB approval on the IC application before we begin shipping to Canada to make sure that we won’t run into issues at customs. This may introduce some more delays (2 weeks) in the process of shipping to backer in Canada.

Thanks for your support throughout this time and looking forward to seeing you use BitLock on your bike.

Mehrdad & BitLock Team

Production update

12 likes

Dear Kickstarter backers

Happy 2015 to everyone one of you! We apologize for break in communication and the delay in sending this update. We have been hard at work during the New Year holiday to make sure BitLock ships as soon as possible, however we hit a few obstacles that created delays in shipping based on the previously planned time line.

The main source of delay had to do with obtaining the certification marks as explained in detail below. We also had to send the boards back to the factory for rework since they forgot to apply solder to the legs of the micro USB port (which caused lack of structural strength on the micro USB port). In overall, all of these obstacles are now overcome and BitLock assembly must be finished in 2 weeks. We need to allow 4 weeks for ocean freight from our factory in Taiwan to California. We will begin shipping all items in 6-7 weeks from now by latest.

EMC/EMI testing:

Testing the product is a critical step in order to obtain the necessary standard regularly approvals and print the certification marks on the product and the packaging. We engaged with our test lab beginning of November and they told us when the whole process takes 2-3 weeks in total, and we based everything based on their estimate.

Fortunetly BitLock has passed all of the tests and complies with all of the regulatory limitations for US, Canada, Europe. Please see below the pictures we took during some of the tests in the lab:

Test Lab 1
Test Lab 1
Test Lab 2
Test Lab 2
Test Lab 3
Test Lab 3
Test Lab 4
Test Lab 4

However now after 2 months, we are still waiting for th approval of the certification marks by the TCB (Telecommunication Certification Body). Based on our understanding the approval process must be finished this week. Obtaining approval is important before proceeding to print the certification marks on the product, because any necessary modification to the certification marks placement, size, etc means we need to remove and reprint them from scratch on each product.

Circuit boards and programming the boards:

We received the final boards from the factory last week. Our circuit factory was delayed over three weeks based on the timeline they were supposed the deliver the board to us. We had a lot of back and forth with them to improve the schedule. When we received the board initially, we noticed that the factory forgot to solder the legs of the micro USB connector and we had to send them back for re-work.

To program the boards, we made a custom flasher system that is capable of programming 10 boards at a time. Programming of each board alone takes 30 seconds and with this system we could bring that down to 3 seconds per board effectively. However after taking into account the unpacking, mounting, un-mounting, and packaging time, in practice our throughput became 60 boards per hour. That meant we almost spent 1 full week to program the boards and package them in boxes to send them to the factory. We are building a automatic mounting system for the next production batch but this was the best we could do now.

Programming the boards
Programming the boards
Programming the boards 2
Programming the boards 2

Packaging design:

We also had to design the packaging. Since we had very limited resources and time to deliver this batch we decided to go with a low key packaging system which is made of corrugated boards. We would have loved to have enough time and resources to design a better looking packaging that is deserving of our Kickstarter backers, but we did not want to introduce further delay in delivery. We hope you are comfortable with the packaging.

Packaging system
Packaging system

Discontinuing two colors:

We also had some issues supplying the pink and brown colors and to simplify supply chain management, we decided to discontinue pink and brown from color pallet.

Warehouse:

We are now talking to few places to lease our warehouse for the incoming shipment and have everything ready to label and ship BitLocks to you.

Backerkit survey:

We will shortly send the survey through BackerKit. On BackerKit you will have the option to upgrade your pledge if you wish.

Further improvements to the product:

We made a few improvement to BitLock as well. In order to remove any rattling noise, we added two washers to BitLock. We also redesigned the print on based on user feedback to use circle and rectangle on the buttons instead of numbers and two arrows showing how the lock opens.

BitLock with added washers
BitLock with added washers
Improved print on BitLock
Improved print on BitLock
User Manual
User Manual

Android:

We have been testing Android on different phones and also improving the UI design on Android. So far we have not had any major issues with Android. The only remaining piece on Android is supporting over-the-air update which must be finished before the shipping date.

Cross device testing
Cross device testing

We apologize again for the delay and look forward to shipping BitLock to you.

BitLock team