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Sony Takes To Crowdfunding To Help Fund Qrio Smart Lock Project

December 12, 2014 - Written By Jeremiah Nelson

Sony is taking to crowdfunding website Makuake to provide the resources for its next project. They want to make a smart lock called Qrio that will pair with your phone and allow you to unlock your door wirelessly. The Qrio Smart Lock is supposed to be the smallest smart lock ever, and it will let you share encrypted keys with friends using your favorite messaging app. Sony is moving in a new direction with this crowdfunding campaign. They want to get back to their roots, get back to the adventurous culture that the company had decades ago.

The Qrio Smart Lock can be yours for a backing contribution of ¥11,250, or about $95. It will cost ¥15,000, or about $130, when it becomes available for retail sales. It is supposed to install without any additional tools, unlike many smart locks available already. The company is trying to gain some traction with the whole crowd funding thing after successfully reaching a 2 million yen target for their e-paper FES Watch. That project reached 2,780,136 yen in total. Sony wants to break 1,500 order for the Qrio Smart Lock. The smart lock market is a growing one in the US and in Japan. The Qrio Smart Lock is a product that consumers may be very interested in.

The whole company is getting behind the crowdfunding phenomenon. Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai has backed projects in the Sony Real Estate division to try to drum up new ideas. The head of Sony’s smartphone division, Hiroki Totoki, is also overseeing a program called the Seed Acceleration Program, which focuses on finding new ideas and projects, then providing them with start-up capital.

This whole crowdfunding thing is a big experiment for Sony. They are trying to new things to try to stir up new innovation and creativity within the company. They’re making other changes as well, and there’s even been talk of them pulling out of their unprofitable smartphone business altogether. Sony is a massive company in a very interesting state of transition. We’ll be keeping a close eye on what they’re doing.