Battery Life


#1

From the FAQ:
How long does the battery last?
With four high-quality AA batteries (which we will supply your first set of!), Lockitron will last for 6-12 months depending on usage. Lockitron will send you a notification when its batteries are running low.

From recent discussion batteries last 1-2 weeks. How do you expect to increase the battery performance by 1000-2000% ?


#2

Hi Mark - this is one of the reasons we aren’t pushing more units out the door. The batteries are dying so quickly right now because of a couple reasons.

We’re seeing the units enter a state where they keep their WiFi active for hours or days at a time which will drain the batteries very quickly. The second is that we have not enabled dynamic power saving here units sleep for longer period when you don’t need to use them (when you’re asleep for instance) and wake when you’re most likely to use them (you’ve returned home).

Update: We’re now seeing battery life that is typically around 2 months with the included batteries (replacement alkalines will be less). We’re still working on dynamically waking Lockitron based on use patterns, however, this won’t be implemented for a while.


#3

Would Nest (as in, the Nest Learning Thermostat) be willing to provide insight into this issue?

I feel like they may be willing to share some aggregate data without too many questions, which would give approximate data on when most people leave for work, return home from work, or go to sleep or leave for the evening. This could provide some guidance, if the Lockitron team is looking for more data.

If you wanna take it to the “tricksy hobbitses” level, you could try to integrate with people’s Nest accounts, if they have them. Depending on how Nest keeps track of this data on the back-end, Lockitron could potentially piggy back off of Nest Thermostat’s presence detection feature. I’d also assume that if someone is home, the Lockitron probably doesn’t need to be connected to wi-fi. And maybe have a ~30 minute check-in period to determine if people are at home or not.

Just throwing out ideas. Not sure if it’s particularly helpful, but hopefully its interesting to think about.


#4

Nest actually draws a small amount of power from your furnace/ac unit. I don’t think the door lock is connected to any kind of power source.


#5

@cybrex that’s an awesome idea. I don’t know the extent of Nest’s API these days, but we are working on integrating all data into the power profile.

@johnbatdorf exactly. While Nest gets a trickle of energy, we are reliant entirely on battery power.


#6

I don’t see the utility in this as I sure as hell don’t want my door lock not working based upon approximations that Nest provides. It needs to work every time I need it. Perhaps I’m missing something here, however. In any case, Nest currently doesn’t have an open API.


#7

Correct me if i’m wrong. The battery dying fast because if the WiFi being active all the time. The WiFi is used for updates and for unlocking the door via the app. So if the WiFi is off, it will still unlock via Bluetooth and NFC, right?


#8

Kind of a simple stupid question here…asked in another forum, still waiting for a reply from an admin. What is the time interval between each automatic “wake up” to check for lock/unlock codes?

Has anyone considered adding the ability to select an interval? For people that have Sense, they may be ok with a longer (or no) automatic wake up to provide maximum battery life, whereas people without sense might be willing to sacrifice a longer battery life in order to have an every ten second check. I know ten seconds would be more than enough time for me to unlock from the mobile app in my car and walk to my door. The first post in this thread mentioned a 1-2 week battery life (I’m assuming that was with wifi on all the time)…well if it was off for ten seconds then clicked on for a second to check for updates that would essentially make the battery time almost ten times longer…I would be willing to change my batteries every 10-20 weeks (assuming the low battery warning feature is still implemented I’d even have a heads up to change them!) if I didn’t have to knock on my own door to wake it up. Some people may even park far enough away (apartments for instance, which is one of the target consumer groups given the portability of this lock) that they could set it at 20 or 30 second intervals to increase battery life even more…

Just a suggestion…


The Lack of Help Hurts
#9

Like above said, since they’re only supporting iOS and Android at this moment, you can either use Sense or NFC to unlock your door. I believe there’s no wait time and also I think they’re trying to implement Sense to Android app too.


#10

@Alexey with the WiFi off Lockitron will still work over Bluetooth but not NFC (as we use a passive NFC tag to trigger an over the web signal)

@JeffZ We’re considering some customizable settings here, but keep in mind that the interval needs to be much more than 10 seconds to get significant savings - i.e. several minutes when you aren’t at home or sleeping. There isn’t a simple one-on-one correlation with on/off time because each time the device wakes up it needs to associate with your network which consumes significantly more power than just remaining on the network.


#11

@Faat_I_Am I have an iPhone 4…and don’t plan to upgrade anytime soon. I was hoping that any bluetooth phone would work, since that isn’t the case I was going to result to just popping the app open and hitting the button to unlock, but if I still have to wait or knock, it’d be just as easy for me to have my key in my hand and ready. Would it be too much to ask for a bluetooth keyfob, or as some people have mentioned, an adapter that can transmit a wifi signal to bluetooth? …or the ability to select a wake-up interval?


#12

Also, I cant find any info on how to lock it, besides using an app. Or that is the only option?


#13

@Alexey you can control Lockitron through our website, Android and iOS apps, API and your original keys.


#14

What would be really cool if it could lock automatically, lets say in some amount if minutes. Any chance of that?


#15

I really think you need a active NFC, like those access card in a security building


#16

One suggestion. The locktron could have two parts. One is the stuff on the door and there is another “base station”. The “base station” can always connect to WIFI and plug-in to power. When a command is sent, the base station could quickly rely the information to the door unit via Bluetooth.


#17

@Alexey definitely - this feature is one of the top requested ones and near the top of our list.


#18

I posted this earlie ron the “Futures” thread, but…

It sounds like an external power connector is MANDATORY based on the current battery life issues. Battery back-up is nice; but constant operatbility is required for this product to be useful.

I have plenty of micro-USB tablet and phone charges stuffed in a drawer. Please add a micro-USB power connector to the both sides of the Lockitron (to accomodate hinges on either side of the door). The hinge that Pete found is great, but I don’t need anything so fancy: just a straight run from the Lockitron connector to the edge of my door. I’ll figure it out from there.

All these battery preserving “polling”, “wake-up/sleep” algorithms are too complex. Just make it simple and make it work. This is not a mobile device, in fact it is being installed in a power rich environment. It’s time to ADD the cord. Within the limits of my internet connection to the lock, I want “instantaneous” responses from the lock (5 seconds maximum) I am (generally 700 miles from the lock in question)

I am very much looking forward to getting my Lockitron!

In the meantime I have purchased a Chamberlain MYQ-G0201 MyQ-Garage Control for $129 at Home Depot (also at Amazon); that gives me both remote monitoring and remote control to my mothers home to confirm when care-givers come and go. It’s not as elegant as using the front door but it gets the job done.

thanks,
Dave


#19

Any news on Battery drain issues?

As it stand if I get mine sometime in the next 2-3 months, I’ll have a useless device that:

a. I cannot use with my android device
b. chews up batteries like crazy.

I’m a hair trigger away from pulling away from this!


#20

What is everyone getting for battery life? Very early units were reporting 1-2 weeks and it seems like 1 month is the new mark.

Is anyone getting much better/worse battery life than ~1 month?