Bike crime is a bit of a problem, and it can be difficult to retrieve anything that gets stolen. A good lock is an essential piece of kit, but the Skunklock takes things to a whole new level. It sprays a pepper spray-like cloud at would-be thieves.
San Francisco-based creators Daniel Idzkowski and Yves Perrenoud have personal experience of having their bikes stolen, telling VentureBeat that a thief could get through a modern U-lock in less than a minute with the right tools. So they came up with the lock that 'fights back'. Anyone attempting to saw through the lock will come face to face with a cloud of the noxious gas.
The pressurised gas is released if a thief gets through at least 30 per cent of the lock with some sort of tool, is non-toxic, and legally compliant (in the US at least). Symptoms of exposure include temporary blindness, vomiting, and difficulty breathing.
It's also clearly marked as a Skunklock, so any thieves would quickly learn what happens if they try and break in. The problem is that this is probably going to be very illegal in the UK. Pepper Spray is illegal here already, and I don't see why this lock would be any different. Even though the lock can hardly be used as a toxic weapon, and anyone exposed clearly didn't end up in that position by accident.
But for the time being the creators have put the lock up for sale on Indiegogo, with an estimated shipping date of June 2017. If you want to risk an incident with the police, you can get one for $99/£81 plus shipping. [Skunklock via VentureBeat]