When I sit in front of a desktop in a university computer cluster, with more than 200 hundred computers around me, I always come across that point where I need to print something or go to the toilet. The biggest concern while you are using your account is that people may get access to it in order to copy your coursework or steal your data, so I always have to lock the computer and unlock it when I come back.
Typing the same damn password more than ten times in an hour can be pretty annoying. The Gate Keeper Chain wants to solve this problem by making simpler the locking and unlocking of your computer. As the team recalls on the Kickstarter campaign that it’s going to be launched in the next weeks: “The Gate Keeper Chain (GK-Chain) is a key fob with a proximity sensor for your PC to allow effortless access. Instead of typing in your password every time, the GK-Chain unlocks your computer when you approach, and locks when you walk away.”
The applications for this product are massive. For example, in office spaces, employees might use the Gate Keeper Chain to keep co-workers from accessing their computer when they are gone. In the same way in dorms or universities, “don’t let your friends change your Facebook status again. Ever.” Likewise at home to protect your PC from siblings or children downloading unwanted programs.
At the moment the Gate Keeper Chain works only on Windows 7, 8 and 8.1, but the team says they are working on Mac OS too, even though the first version will work only on Windows. However this is not a disincentive for an Apple user not to take part in the campaign. The more Apple fans are going to pledge, the quicker the team will release a version for Mac.
The team is ready to ship but since they can’t keep making the prototypes with a simple 3d printer, they need to raise money in order to produce the first version with a manufacturer. The company is aiming to raise $12,000 with a set of pledges that vary from $5 to $5,000. As they recall on their Facebook page, the campaign will be live on the 18th of February at 12:00 EST.
The Gate Keeper Chain works also as a Key Alert app that beeps when your keys will be too far from your phone. The guys behind this product are estimating a first delivery in July 2014, only five months after the start of the campaign. As they also promise this is one of their first project ideas, but they are planning to introduce several different technologies, if they are able to ship the GK Chain.
I personally think this product will have a massive success on Kickstarter and it might even overwhelm The Nifty Mini Drive which we have interviewed in the past, in terms of money raised. Why? Because it’s simple and useful. The Gate Keeper Chain aims to solve a problem that we have every single day in a simple and cheap way. It’s probably early to say something about the impact of their Kickstarter campaign, which comes in a moment where everyone is on this platform; but simplicity and minimalism are going to help them.
The challenge that this team now faces is their own product, the hardware. Although it has become incredibly easy to raise money on Kickstarter, if you have a great idea, it doesn’t mean your first version will work. Hardware products normally reach a final stage after a series of iterations that Kickstarter can’t guarantee; but the question is do you want to risk something in life or sit and watch other people playing the game?