CES

Old-school security goes modern: BenjiLock brings fingerprint tech to the padlock

File photo.

File photo.  (REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

Padlocks are one of the most primitive pieces of technology available -- after all, they've been used to secure chain-link fences and more archaic enclosures since the onset of the Roman Era. This is the 21st century, however, and many of the devices we now hold most dear are the ones lined with Bluetooth, NFC, and intuitive fingerprint technology. BenjiLock knows this, and is looking to imbue the oft-ignored padlock with a bit of modern functionality.

The Los Angeles startup unveiled its namesake device at CES on Tuesday night, giving passersby a look at what is essentially a traditional padlock equipped with fingerprint technology. The rechargeable, stainless-steel device supports up to four distinct fingerprints and saves them in an encrypted chip, allowing users to easily crack open the 7-pin device with a finger of their own choosing. This isn't the first time we've seen such technology in a padlock -- remember the long-gestating TappLock? -- but it's still nice to see other companies incorporating a mobile staple into their products.

As for battery life, the BenjiLock can reportedly last a year on a single charge. It also comes with a set of physical keys, just in case you're having trouble with the fingerprint reader, the device runs out of battery, or you simply need someone to unlock it when you're not available. If someone attempts to unlock it without your approval, the device will even automatically wipe your info and require keys. The range of colors (sky white, jet black, brass, copper, and stainless steel) are just an added plus aimed at those who scoff at the prototype's gloss-white exterior.

The BenjiLock is slated for release in the third quarter of 2017 for $80.