Apps and devices have been designed to turn smartphones into light switches, medical tools and even satellites. For people who wish to extend a little less effort in their daily lives, they could even replace the traditional house key you use to get into your home.
Consider Lockitron, a keyless entry device that attaches to a door's deadbolt. The small battery-powered box is equipped with Bluetooth 4.0, has NFC capabilities and communicates with a user through Wi-Fi.
To open a door, you swipe your phone past the Lockitron box.The device is compatible with every kind of smartphone, according to Lockitron maker Apigy. If you have an old model, text messaging can be used as an alternative to Wi-Fi in order to control access to your home. With the "Sense" feature, smartphones that include Bluetooth 4.0 -- such as the iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 -- can grant you access when you simply walk up to the door.
The downloadable two-button app that communicates with the box can be used to share or restrict access to your home by other people. Lockitron is able to send you notifications, alerting you to changes that include the door being unlocked by another user -- for example, when your child returns from school and enters your house. The application is available for Android and iOS devices.
If you're a renter, it's possible to take the removable Lockitron box with you rather than having to purchase a new device or switch back to a set of keys. If you lose your phone, then resetting an account's password can keep your home secure.
This week, Apigy is ready to take preorders for the $149 Lockitron box, having now received $424,350 in funding. The first batch is set to ship internationally in March of next year if Apigy receives 1,000 reservations.