It’s called the TEO (“tee-oh”) for Transferable Electronic Operation. It’s a regular padlock enabled with Bluetooth technology, which allows users to lock and unlock it using an app downloaded to their phone.
It's the brainchild of Gord Duncan, owner of Total North Communications, who came up with the idea while traveling in Costa Rica, and worrying about losing his car keys.
"I thought 'wouldn't it be great if you could physically lock these things?' because I'm scared to death I'm going to lose the keys and we're going to be in a world of pain," Duncan says.
Duncan has already manufactured a prototype with help from a Vancouver company called Form Three and a California firm, Heliox Technologies, which also makes technology for the U.S. military.
The company says the technology is secure, and not easily hacked. The battery should last for one year, and if your phone is lost or stolen, a new electronic “key” can be provided.
Duncan hopes to raise $165,000 on the crowdsourcing website Kickstarter in order to move the product into production. That won’t be enough to cover the costs, but Duncan is hoping it will drum up some interest.
"In this day in age, people want to see what the public's reaction is to something,” he says. “And Kickstarter is a pretty recognized vehicle for that."
If they do get to production, the device will probably be made in the U.S., but Duncan says it’s still a Yukon product.
"This is the Yukon story right here. I couldn't have done this without the backing of Total North and the folks that are here. It's a community effort to allow this to come forward so, hopefully a triumph for the Yukon."
The Kickstarter campaign starts later this week.
Duncan is hoping to have the TEO ready to market by the end of 2014.