It has happened to many of us. We've left home or office and shortly after leaving, we started wondering whether or not we locked the door properly... How many of us have not experienced the stress and preoccupation throughout the whole day, party or trip for this reason?
Locking a door is such a repetitive task that we can hardly remember it ; That's where the confusion starts.
- Around 60 percent of burglars used forcible entry to gain access to a home. A surprising 30 percent entered home through an unlocked door, window or other opening without resorting to force.
- About 33 percent of intruders enter a home through the front door.
- According to the FBI, the average dollar loss per burglary in the U.S. is $2,185. [source]
KPHOB is a key fob that registers the time and the date of each time you lock or unlock a door, so in case that you have any doubts, you could check the records and make sure you did lock the door last time you left the house.
HOW IT WORKS?
KPHOB combines two sensing methods to detect key usage and key rotations.
You would be required to place a tiny permanent magnet on the doors that matter to you. This magnet serves to activate the proximity sensor that is deployed in the key fob. As a result, every time your key fob is in a certain proximity to the door (5 cm or less), it would wake up the device from standby mode, register the time and start monitoring further motions of the key. Although for many of us, just knowing the time of last key usage might suffice to deduce we have locked the door, there are drawbacks with this method. The problem is that you might also activate the key fob if you are in vicinity of any magnet, even those which are not related to the door lock...
To avoid that false detection, we also use a magnetometer so we can measure the relative orientation of the key fob and consequently the key itself towards the magnet.
Contrary to smart lock solutions and other IOT smart house alternatives, KPHOB is a stand-alone product that is neither connected to internet nor needs to pair up with your phone. All the data is stored on device's internal memory and the records are shown directly on its custom designed display. As a result, sensitive information (e.g. data regarding your exit time from home) which could be of interest to the burglars, is not shared on any server, Cloud or your smartphone... Everything is stored locally on your fob and it is only accessible by you.
Development of KPHOB has been a long journey. It started almost 5 years ago when I was building my CPV solar energy project at university lab and met this Japanese student. He was meticulously working on a set of tiny gears to attach to a key in order to have a lock indicator. The problem had occurred to me before, but I had never thought it could be such a widespread problem. After some basic research, it was clear that this common problem had never been addressed. A brief study of patents also revealed that there were tens of issued patents mostly mechanical solutions and occasionally electronical methods. All of them appeared to be far from being technically or economically viable.
With that background, KPHOB project began a year and half ago with the simple idea of using a proximity sensor on the key and a magnet on the door to detect and register the times when we have used the key. that was not however a very convincing solution as it was not a reliable source of information. The sensor could be occasionally activated in presence of other magnetic fields. It also didn't offer a solution to know whether we had actually locked the door or unlocked it otherwise.
The next step was adding the means to measure the revolution of the keys so the user makes sure they locked the door properly. To achieve that functionality, we had to add a magnetometer and an accelerometer to the hardware just to detect the movements of the key fob and consequently the keys. As you see in the following video, the magnetometer enables us to analyze the relative orientation of the magnet. In real world and in a similar fashion, the device would function when the magnet is fixed on the door and key fob is rotating...
At the moment we are one step away from completion of the final hardware and we need to perfect our firmware for a better user interaction. We are at preliminary stage with the recognition algorithm and we need to test it with different users and different situations. With some funds we can take this step faster. It is also necessary to make injection molding tools after we finalize every hardware detail.
WHAT YOU GET?
The cover sets of KPHOB prototypes are made from bonded leather. We however need to identify suppliers and until then we can not tell for sure which colors would be available. You would be asked to chose the color as soon as the material and its supplier are chosen so we know which colors are available.
Does it work for you?
KPHOB works only with physical keys, so if you have a remote controlled lock, it wouldn't detect anything. You need to physically rotate the key inside the keyhole and you are required to do it for at least one full rotation/ revolution. We are also working on the algorithm to make it possible for 180° rotation detection which in theory is possible. But it takes time and resources to be able to add this functionality which is only possible with your help.
Our goal is to make KPHOB compatible and configurable for as many doors as possible, either clockwise lockers or CCW.
At the moment KPHOB is about 30 x 50 mm (1.18 x 2 inches) but it is possible that the final PCB could be even smaller as some of the components on current board are only for development purposes and are quite redundant in production model.
5% of Nothing Pledge.
Few years ago, two entrepreneurs introduced 1% of nothing initiative, which aimed at inspiring early-stage companies to donate 1% of their equity to a cause of their choice.The idea is that startups pledge 1% when that equity may be worth nothing. KPHOB takes that pledge and Since 1% of zero = 5% of zero, we pledge for 5% instead of 1%.
If the campaign reaches its funding goal and when the company is set up, 5% of the annual profits would be dedicated to the non profit and philanthropic organizations. As a backer, you would have your say in selection of those organizations. At KPHOB we care a lot about education, Human rights and animal preservation, among many other causes...
Credits: Voice-over by Matthew McDonough, Music Credit: "Swingin' Jazz Blues" and "Let it be Christmas" by Nicolai Heidlas Music
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Risks and challenges
As always, there are some risks and challenges involved in a project like this. Developing a hardware project is really hard, adding a complex firmware makes it harder, and setting up a production line for a design project that employs an electronic hardware as a main component is a challenge of which we are well aware.
- The experience of the team makes that none of the aspects of the project such as developing and commercializing hardware, writing and releasing software, managing projects and funds are new.
Nevertheless, some other potential problems can arise:
-Component supply. If there are some components and modules with a larger than expected lead time, we might go over our estimated schedule. This is something we have experience with in the past, and we're trying to mitigate these situations to the best of our abilities, but it can be completely out of our hands.
-Even though the PCB changes between the production version and prototype version are minimal, there can be problems with it. The way we will mitigate this risk is by getting a production version board build as soon as possible to verify the changes before producing larger quantity. Should there be unexpected issues, then this could lead to another round of testing and a secondary test version which could lead to unforeseen delays. We believe however that our review process mitigates this risk.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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