By using Dutch KPN’s LORA technology, Mobilock is the world’s first bike lock which is connected to the Internet of Things (IoT). The bike sharing system that uses a smartphone app to open the lock can now monitor and localise all its bikes in real time, wherever and whenever they are, without using GPS.

In big cities like Barcelona, Paris, Copenhagen, Hangzhou or New York public bike sharing systems play an important role in attempts to make transport more sustainable. To simplify the system of sharing, Mobilock developed a bike lock which uses a smartphone app as a key. The system can be implemented all around the world without check-out stations, parking docks or storage facilities. Mobilock smartly uses infrastructure that is already there, like bikes, storages and smartphones.

After launching Mobilock last January the company was overwhelmed by requests from bike rental companies, holiday parks, hotels and other companies in the tourism industry. In April, the first locks are ready to be put on the market.

With KPN’s LORA a new technology is implemented in the lock. LORA is short for Low Power Wide Area Networks (Long Range) and makes it possible to connect billions of devices over large distances with the internet, using 3G or 4G. Because LORA chips and sensors need little power, the system hardly uses energy. A device connected to the LORA network is able to send data and commands for fifteen years using only two penlite batteries.

To MobiLock this technology offers several benefits. Bikes with this lock can be localised and monitored real-time, even when someone is riding the bike. This improves bike sharing management. “We are the first in the bike industry to apply this new technology,” says Managing Director Walter Nieuwendijk, who developed the innovative technology together with co-founder Willem-Jan te Riele. “Thanks to LORA, rental companies can locate their bikes at any time and see who’s riding it. Also, the system barely needs energy, while old GPS systems – for instance used in cars – need a lot of power. With this addition Mobilock becomes the most complete and compact bike share system in the world.”

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