Kiwi.ki wants the same convenience that’s available to car owners via keyless entry and bring it to residential multi-unit complexes, thereby making it possible for anyone who lives in one, to just walk up to the door and open it, thanks to an RFID device carried on their person.
For a long time now, it is easy for car owners to gain access to their vehicles. Manufacturers are designing key fobs that let drivers simply approach their car door, and have them open instantly when you reach out to pull the door handle. No one, as yet, has built the same thing for residential housing. This is where Kiwi.ki is on the ball. They have already partnered with Deutsche Post in Germany to make it easy for mail carriers to gain access to apartments to enable a quicker package delivery service.
The long term vision is to have keyless entry systems built into the entries of the majority of Berlin’s residential complexes. The company wishes to then expand internationally. “We are the exclusive partner of Deutsche Post to install our system in these multi-storey buildings, and there about 3 million of those buildings in Germany alone…Obviously, we are not stopping in Germany – we are also going to launch in other countries soon.” Kiwi.ki co-founder Dr. Christian Bogatu explained in an interview.
Kiwi.ki already has some corporate clients, including Allianz, one of the world’s largest insurance companies, and Factory Berlin, a campus and shared workspace for startups in Germany. Bogatu says that even with those clients and a few others in the business world, the focus for the startup is firmly fixed on residential customers, as they don’t want to spread themselves too thin chasing multiple markets at the same time.
The technology used is quite simple, but it is actually very hard to get it right and still preserve security and privacy. Bogatu says that Kiwi.ki has recruited hackers who would normally exploit a system like this and employ them to build it. They have also made it so that there’s no way to use a Kiwi Ki as an identifier; each time it communicates with a lock, it sends a randomly generated number. This means you are unable to track it reliably from one moment to the next. “In our system, because our hackers were really proud to develop a system that’s really anonymous, you don’t even have to take our word for it…We’re making our source code open, so any part that is security and privacy-relevant, we’ll put up on the Internet and make it available for hackers around the world to really prove its level of security.” Bogatu said.
The company is working with Deutsche Post roll-out their initial system and defray the cost for consumers. That’s going to roll out soon, starting in Berlin along mail routes. They also want to make it available direct to home owners and plan to launch that within the next few weeks.
[Image via bizinet]