As their features and functions grow, smartphones have increasingly begun to replace standalone devices such as music players and cameras. Now US-based service Lockitron, aims to remove the need to carry separate keys as well. By using a base hub which connects to a user’s internet router, and a specially designed deadbolt system powered by 4 AA batteries, the Lockitron service enables any smartphone user to unlock a pre-configured door from up to fifteen feet away. The owner of the Lockitron door can also allow other smartphone users temporary access by sending them an invitation, meaning that, for example, builders could be granted access for a limited time whilst working on site, or access could be distributed to party guests for one night only. Equally, text based invitations can be sent to non-smartphone users, who can then open doors using SMS. According to the Lockitron website, the kit is compatible with most popular lock styles, and comes complete with all the tech needed to set up the service, including DIY installation instructions. The service is still in Beta, but work is already underway to create a system for use with NFC tags, which would allow users to simply swipe their pre-configured phone next to a lock to gain entry. Such a system could be employed in hotels, for example, although the 4-8 second waiting time from clicking to load the Lockitron app on an iPhone to gaining entry could be a turn off for some prospective buyers. The Lockitron service, created by Apigy Inc., currently only ships to the US. As consumers increasingly become used to a world where there’s an app for nearly everything, this is an idea ripe for exporting!