The LINKA lock: high-tech security for your bike
Bikes abound in the Netherlands, and thieves have developed inconspicuous methods for stealing them - even in broad daylight, on crowded city streets.
In many cases, once a bike is freed from its lock, the thief is able to casually ride it away without arousing suspicion.
LINKA: a smart solution to bike theft
After observing the tricks and techniques most popular with bike thieves, the LINKA team, based in the United States, has developed an innovative new lock equipped with smart technology.
The lock itself is made of hard steel and is designed to be mounted to the frame of a bike. When tapped by the owner, whom it recognises through the presence of his or her smartphone, it wraps around the bike’s back wheel, immobilising it.
If you’ve lost or run out of battery on your phone, however, you can still unlock the LINKA with a personal pass code.
Should a thief attempt to steal a bike equipped with LINKA, the device will sound a 100 dB siren, alerting passers-by to the crime.
To ensure the alarm does not go off if the bike is simply jostled around in a crowded parking place, the LINKA has been designed to distinguish these kinds of movements from those of thieves.
What’s more, you’ll receive an alert via your phone that someone has attempted to steal your bike, from up to 120 metres away.
The LINKA team has developed a community security dimension, as well - integrating all LINKAs in a region so that if one is stolen, the others can pick up its GPS coordinates.
The LINKA smartphone app provides a number of additional services. It can be used to locate your bike in case you have forgotten where you parked it.
If you’re visiting a new city, it can provide you with a map showing the most and least dangerous areas for bike theft.
The LINKA Kickstarter campaign
The LINKA has attracted attention through its Kickstarter campaign, far surpassing its pledge goal. It has even been selected as a "Kickstarter staff pick".
The team hopes to have the LINKA ready for shipping by the end of 2015.