IoT padlock with mobile apps

BLUETOOTH SMART LOCK

Category

IoT
Consumer Electronics
Mobile apps

SERVICES

Full-Cycle Product Design
Electrical Engineering
Mechanical Design
Firmware Development
Mobile App Development
EVT, DVT, PVT

2018 - 2020

The Challenge

Keys are one of the most fundamental items in society, but are also one of the most frequently lost. Physical keys are small, light, and only used for one task: open locks. However, although we are likely to lose our keys, we almost never forget our smartphones. Therefore, to solve this issue, modern smart locks can close and open by simply connecting to your phone, without the burden of physical keys.

The most challenging parts of using intelligent padlocks are how to deal with the energy limitation and security risks. This can be solved using low-energy components and reliable data interface. After all, in the tightly interconnected world with new IoT and cybersecurity advancements, why rely on physical keys to lock your belongings?

THE OPPORTUNITY

AJProTech partnered with KWLocks to create the MoKoo: a Smart Bluetooth Padlock designed to be controlled directly by a mobile app to open and share access.

KWLocks is a leading Hong Kong manufacturer and distributor of locks and security products for worldwide retailers in China, Japan, and United States.

Our engineers at AJProTech applied our extensive experience in hardware, firmware, and software design - combined with our passion in IoT products - to create a reliable padlock witn low power consumption, long battery life, and user-friendly mobile apps.

AJProTech led the entire product design - from Idea to Manufacturing

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The Solution

The MoKoo is a portable, wireless, and safe smart lock designed to be controlled through a dedicated smartphone app. Instead of using physical keys, MoKoo can be unlocked by a user-defined code or via Bluetooth, using the app. Moreover, the lock can be opened by different people, through a shared-access system that can be configured in the app.

MoKoo operates with bank-grade security, using AES-128 encryption to ensure that only you and your trusted ones can have access to the lock.

The low-power consumption, water-proof design, and zinc alloy body give the MoKoo capability to operate autonomously for over a year in most environments, so you are free to use it outdoors when necessary.

Finally, the MoKoo also provides a logging system to keep track of when and where the lock was accessed, giving you an extra layer of security and control.

Bluetooth low energy
Compatible iPhone 4S or newer Compatible with Android 4.4 or newer
Bank grade security
AES-128 encryption for secure connection and data protection
Mobile app
Coplete control in mobile apps. Open/close, see history, share access with people
1 year battery life
With 2x 2032 coin cell batteries
Certification
Water resistance rating
IP66
Body
Zinc Alloy
Operating temperature
-10°F to 150°F
-23°C to 65°C

Our approach

Here at AJProtech we want more than just making a product work: we put ourselves into the user’s shoes to see how we can make it in the most convenient and reliable way, considering all possible applications and conditions.

For this product, our design approach was based on three pillars: reliability, security, and convenience. We wanted to provide the user as much control as possible over the MoKoo, while preventing any malfunction due to power limitation, environmental conditions, or malicious attacks.

The first big issue is the power consumption, that is, how to put enough energy into such a small device. We addressed this issue by using Bluetooth low power (BLE) module and a low consumption motor system, which can operate over a year with only 2 CR2032 lithium batteries. To ensure proper operation under any condition outdoors, we designed a device that can operate with temperatures from -23°C to 65°C, with a waterproof (IP66) zinc enclosure.

To achieve the security pillar, we designed a communication system with bank-grade encryption, to prevent any malicious access to the device from third parties, and to ensure reliable communication and data transfer from the actual user. Padlock uses metal allow enclosure that can withstand brutal mechanical force and numerous break in attempts.

Finally, we addressed the convenience pillar by adding several features to the lock and the app, including unlocking by proximity, unlocking by manual code (if the smartphone is not easily accessible), access sharing between users, access tracking, and battery monitoring. Moreover, we designed the battery changing process to be as simple as possible, without any screws or complicated sequences.

MECHANICAL design

Most of the mechanical design was focused on making the device strong and resilient, to mitigate degradation over time and prevent malicious incursions. Thus, we used boron carbide, a material that is both hard and light that is also applied in military tanks and bulletproof vests, to create the perfect shackle.

Moreover, an anti-shim locking mechanism was designed, significantly improving security. The final result is a lightweight, strong, and extremely resistant IP66 lock with an elegant and discrete design. Locking mechanism uses low-power motor to open/close the shackle. Jump start connector allows to connect backup battery is lock runs out of energy

Hardware design

Electrical Engineers at AJProTech are experts in IoT Hardware development. We have a proven process designing consumers electronics products. Starting with system architecture and components selection, we reliably produce future-proof and cost-effective electrical designs. Our Design for Manufacturing experience helps covering the entire hardware product development - from early prototypes to mass production in few sprints / iterations.

Padlock operates with a single 4-layer PCB optimized for mass production cost and manufacturability. Brain of the padlock is Texas Instruments’ CC2640R2F microcontroller with BLE4.2 and printed PCB antenna. 6 buttons allow entering manual user-defined code to open the lock when smartphones is not nearby. We paid particular attention to component cost to simplify supply chain. PCB uses impedance mathching to minimize EMI and achive maxium BLE connection range. Padlock successfully went through FCC and Bluetooth certification.

Low power motor drives the locking mechanism. Power convertor maximizes energy transfer from two CR2032 batteries and protects from battery drain. Finally, backup power connector allows to jump-start the padlock using a spare battery if padlock runs out of power.

PROTOTYPING

Electronics prototyping started on development boards to rapidly validate microcontroller, motor operation, and BLE connection to a Mobile app. IoT product development involves several iterations of PCB design and prototyping. Custom PCBs are manufactured and then assembled & tested in-house to expedite the path from prototypes to production-ready designs. Each iteration includes Bill of Material optimization and Design for Manufacturing techniques.

Mechanical design includes a combination of steel, zinc alloy, and plastic parts. First, rapid prototyping was completed using CNC machining to get enclosure samples from a solid piece of metal. After initial validation, custom tooling was created to produce prototypes from zinc alloy using injection molding. KWLocks factory and manufacturing capabilities were fundamental in this step to achieve mechanical strength. After several iterations, all components worked together and the MoKoo was born

FIRMWARE DESIGN

State-of-the-art embedded firmware is essential for Internet-of-Things devices, as most operations are done onboard. The MoKoo padlock is built around CC2640R2F BLE SoC, featuring BLE4.2 with AES-128 Encryption. It uses a custom GATT profile to connect to BLE-enabled smartphones, being compatible with iOS and Android.

The BLE communication also allows over-the-air firmware updates, so that padlock is always equipped with the up-to-date functionality. Firmware is optimized for low power consumption, using sleep modes and low power processing algorithms, achieving 1 year of operation with a single battery charge.

ARM CORTEX
M3 in low power mode for best battery life
BLE 4.2 with custom GATT protocol and OTA Firmware update
AES-128 Encryption with unique ECDH keys to ensure maximum security
Story history of padlock access events and sync with app and server

HOW IT WORKS

01.
Padlock uses BLE4.2 (Bluetooth Low Energy) to connect with iOS and Android smartphones. MoKoo mobile app allows open the lock, share access with other people, and create one-time open combinations.
02.
The shackle mechanism is open and closed using a small electric motor designed for low consumption applications. When you open your MoKoo, you will hear this motor turning.
03.
The system is powered by two CR2032 cells, that give 1 year of hassle-free usage, and can be easily replaced when needed.
04.
The padlock includes a metal body, a boron carbide shackle for strength, and an anti-shim locking mechanism for improved strength and security.

What can we create together?

MOBILE APP

AJProTech software team created user-friendly mobile apps for iOS and Android, as well as backend cloud that supports up to 5,000,000 users

Our software engineers create reliable IoT mobile apps using Agile sprints. Starting with UX and UI, app development goes through a series our milestones of engineering, Quality Assurance, and publication to App Stores.

The MoKoo mobile app allows to

  • open / close padlock through secure Bluetooth connection
  • set secret code combination for backup
  • open the lock automatically when phone is in proximity,
  • check the status and log history of access (including information of by whom, where, and when the lock was opened),
  • grant access to other users,
  • manage several locks in one app.

SHARE ACCESS WITH GUESTS

Majority of users operate MoKoo padlock with a single tap in mobile app interface. Some users configure mobile app to open the lock automatically when they approach the padlock using Proximity Mode. Lastly, if phone is not around, padlock can be opened with a assigned code combination.

The owner of the padlock may also provide permanent of temporary access to others through mobile app.

  • Friend need to open your gym locker once? Crate a one-time numerical code.
  • Spouse need to access a locker in the self-storge space? Share access so your spouse may use smartphone app
  • Need to allow someone to open the lock only at certain date? Share access only for specified time or for limited number of opens. Access may be granted and retracted at any time.

MOBILE APPS AND WEB SERVER

IoT Mobile apps that connect to physical products require extensive BLE expertise. No one wants to get stuck with a padlock that does not open due to a software glitch. Software engineers at AJProTech develop IoT mobile apps and do quality assurance with Manual and Automated QA.

Cloud server is designed with scale in mind to support up to 5,000,000 padlocks. High-volume OEM clients may choose to use a dedicated server to have full control over padlock data.

Mobile apps are available on Apple App Store and Google Play. Apps comply with GDRP and California Privacy act.

PILOT AND VALIDATION

AJProTech led engineering and prototyping throughout EVT (Engineering Validation), DVT (Design Validation), and PVT (Production Validation) stages.

KWLocks is a leading manufacturer and distributor of mechanucal locks and security products. AJProTech team worked closely with factory engineers at DVT stage to establish supply chain for a new product, configure production equipment, prepare test manuals, and run extensive endurance tests. Video above shows padlock being tested by an automated machine to test longevity of buttons and locking mechanism.

At PVT stage, KWLocks produced a series of pilot units validation, beta testing, and FCC/CE Compliance testing. Manufacturing routines are ready for production of MoKoo padlocks.

 
 

LEARN MORE

Download User Manual to learn about functionality, specifications, and how to operate Mokoo padlock.

Mokoo is a trademark of Innova Ideas Limited.
Mokoo padlock complies with Part 15 of FCC rules.

Impact

Innova Ideas successfully manufactured and tested pilot batch of MoKoo padlocks in Hong Kong and Japan. MoKoo padlocks are available through service partners in the U.S, Japan, and China. OEM and whitelabel versions presented to volume customers.

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MoKoo Lock mobile apps available in App Store and Google Play

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Innova Ideas registered trademark and multiple patents for MoKoo padlock

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Contact us

United States
Headquarters Los Angeles, CA 9410 Owensmouth Ave, Chatsworth, CA 91311
Taiwan
R&D and Manufacturing New Taipei City 120 Nan Shi St.  
Kazakhstan
Software design Almaty