University of Central Florida graduate Phil Dumas invented UniKey in 2010. It’s a smart doorbell/lock that allows you to see who’s at your door — UniKey motion sensors detect movement — and it allows you to lock or unlock the door from nearly anywhere in your house. It even works when you’re not a home. While you’re away on vacation, you can let the cleaning person in or the real estate agent in to show the house and you don’t have to worry about making copies of keys — or of losing them or having them stolen.
When Dumas pitched his business on Shark Tank, he received offers from all five sharks and made a deal with Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary ($500k for 40%). Since then, the deal fell through. Dumas got more money for less equity from another investor. Dumas negotiated a licensing deal with Kwikset, the largest residential lock maker in the US. Together they’ve made a deadbolt lock that will unlock if you just touch the lock. All you need is your smartphone. You don’t even need to take your phone out of your pocket or purse; it will recognize your phone and unlock the door. The Kwikset Kevo Smart Lock with Keyless Bluetooth Touch-to-Open Convenience is available for $176.99 on Amazon.