Ever had a bike stolen? It’s something a lot of owners have experienced. Even with expensive bike locks in place, many people have found their prized possessions have been swiped, with thieves able to cut through U-locks in minutes using handheld electric saws. But a new locking device promises to stop criminals by making them vomit uncontrollably.
San Francisco-based Daniel Idzkowski and Yves Perrenoud, who told Venturebeat they both had bikes stolen in the past, came up with the idea for the SkunkLock after “a friend park[ed] his very expensive electric bike outside a Whole Foods, and then went to have lunch and chat. We went out and his bike was gone.” Idzkowski was especially angry that the two $120 locks hadn’t stopped the thief, according to The Guardian.
The experience led to the pair creating “the lock that fights back.” The hardened medium-carbon steel U-Lock is pressurized inside with noxious chemicals so harsh, they almost always induce vomiting. If that isn’t enough of a deterrent, they can also cause temporary blindness and make breathing difficult for the criminal, who by now is probably regretting his chosen occupation. Once in this debilitated state, it’s highly unlikely any thief would try to make a getaway on a stolen bike.
The SkunkLock doesn’t contain any electronics and it’s legal in the US, mainly because it falls under similar regulations as pepper sprays. It’s also safe for owners – the gas will only erupt when someone cuts about 30 percent into the lock, which would require an angle grinder. The inventors say the gas is effective through the most “robust” gas masks.
The SkunkLock is currently in the middle of an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. With still a month left to go, 44 backers have raised over $5000 toward the $20,000 target. Early bird specials offer the lock from $99, with an estimated shipping date of June 2017.