Daniel Idzkowsk and Yves Perrenoud came up with the idea of the SkunkLock when their friend’s bike was stolen during the short lunch break. The worse part? Their friend had recently spent more than 100 bucks on the best cycle lock available on the market.
The duo wanted to design a lock that was more secure and make theft more difficult. They came up with an ingenious solution: a chemical emitting lock that could make the bike thieves throw up and run away.
The SkunkLock designer Idzkowsk discovered that no practical solution was available in the market:
“We realized that there’s no real solution on the market. As the locks get bigger and stronger, so do the tools that break them. So the only real solution we could think of was some sort of fundamental deterrent.”
A pressurised chamber is embedded less than a third way through the lock. If punctured, an extremely pungent cloud of foul chemicals is released to make the thief vomit. Idzkowski asserted that the chemicals used were all safe and legal:
“The smell is hard to describe. The closest description to it is an extremely concentrated version of vomit. The initial reaction to the smell of vomit is vomiting.”
The chemical mix can also cause breathing difficulty or even impaired vision. The manufacturers will plaster the lock with big warnings saying it is illegal to cut, even for the owner. Those who ignore the warnings would be unable to the complete the job.
The manufacturers of the SkunkLock developed two versions of the bicycle lock to comply with the differing state laws in the U.S. as well as a third version for the European market.
“They act as an effective deterrent, but they’re not illegal because they’re not powerful enough to do permanent harm to anyone.”
Idzkowski also hopes to encourage cycling among people by ensuring the safety of their bikes:
“We wanted to build something that could give us our freedom back. The freedom to ride our bikes around, and be flexible, and actually park outside without having to worry about it and check on it every 20 minutes or so.”
SkunkLock has launched its crowdfunding on Indiegogo and has already met its funding goal.