Goji Smart Lock Hides Old-Fashioned Secret

For a smart door lock, the Goji Lock has a lot going for it. Users can unlock this fixture via both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and use a built-in camera to see who's at the door from anywhere in the world. What sets it apart from other smart locks, however, is that it possesses the very technology it's meant to replace: a hidden, manual keyhole.

Goji showed off its smart lock, which will release in early 2014 and cost $299, at CES 2014. Tom's Guide had a chance to examine the device firsthand. The Goji Lock is a small metal cylinder that fits over a traditional deadbolt lock. When a user brings a recognized Bluetooth device within range, the door automatically unlocks, obviating the need to hunt for keys.

This is a standard feature of Bluetooth locks, but the Goji Lock offers a few more functionalities. Users can control the lock manually via Wi-Fi (if, for example, you are upstairs and need to unlock the door for a visitor) and connect to it via iOS and Android mobile devices. If a family member locks him or herself out while you're at work, you can let him or her in remotely.

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The Goji Lock also allows users to grant and revoke access to other Bluetooth devices, as well as electronic key fobs for those without modern mobile phones.

One of the Goji's unique features is its front-facing camera, which takes a photo of each visitor to your home and alerts you via text message when someone unexpected arrives. The lock uploads these photos to cloud storage along with the time and date of the attempted entry.

While it's not a make-or-break feature, the Goji Lock also sports a durable LED screen that recognizes users based on their devices and greets them when they enter (the model at CES displayed "Welcome John" constantly, although users can program their own names in).

If all else fails, users can still fold the smart lock open and use a traditional key.

The Goji Lock is an attractive device with a lot of features, but it's also very expensive; other smart locks tend to retail for $220 or so. The hidden keyhole, LED screen and all-seeing camera could come in handy, but $80 is a lot to dish out for secondary features.

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Marshall Honorof

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.