Everything is bluetooth.Yes, everything. My iPhone was having trouble this week connecting to the hands-free system in my jeep, and when I looked at the bluetooth list it had over thirty devices on it. Deleting most of those solved the immediate connection problem, but the incident reminded me just how pervasive this technology has become. And now we have a bluetooth biometric padlock, the Tapplock.
The problem that Tapplock is trying to solve is the lost key or forgotten combination. The promise of fingerprint readers is freedom from these troubles, and in that regard it succeeds. Use the nicely designed magnetic USB charging cable to power up the lock (about 2 hours, good for a year), install the app (and reboot the app like we had to if bluetooth won't connect), create an account (fairly painless), register your fingerprint and hey-whaddaya-know it just works.
The Tapplock is a heavy little unit, with a very polished look and feel. When you press the power button at the bottom and place your finger over the sensor it unlocks in less than a second with a very satisfying whirring sound. The unlocking event is logged to the app, a simple to use list that updates when you're in bluetooth range, and you can add and delete users at will as long as they're standing there to register their fingerprint (over 500 possible) on your phone.
The Tapplock even provides the capability to use a morse code backup in the event the fingerprint doesn't work, or you need to provide access to someone who you haven't been able to register with a fingerprint in person. Set up a code of short and long button pushes, and it works. You can also use the app on the phone to unlock it, if for some reason the fingerprint reader and the morse code method fail. The Tapplock is water resistant but not waterproof, so it's not designed for long-term outdoor use but for locking a bike up in normal rain for a few hours it should be fine. One caveat is to not let water get in the unit through the hole where the shackle goes into, or you may end up kaput.
We found the Tapplock simple to set up, easy to use and reliable. It's expensive only when compared to a good-quality dumb padlock, and if you want or need the additional flexibility provided by the Tapplock it's really a good deal. Basically if you want a padlock without a key or combination (anyone have kids or older forgetful parents?), if you need to log access to whatever you have locked, or if you need to provide access to multiple people, the Tapplock is a slick solution.