Bluetooth Security and Capacitive Sensing Tool Cabinet Handles

Locking tool cabinet

[Andy] needed a new set of locks for his tool cabinets at work, but not wanting to carry around another key (or to remember a combination!) he decided to throw this little hack together — solenoid locking, capacitive sensing, tool cabinet door handles.

To do this he’s using a Bluetooth low energy breakout board coupled with an Arduino, two solenoid locks, and two capacitive sensors. He’s modified a pre-existing iPhone app to control the system, dubbed: The BlueLock Control.

When [Andy] is present with his phone, the system can be activated, allowing for automatic unlocking the moment you touch the metal handle. Usually he leaves it unlocked for the majority of the work day, but as soon as the day is done it’s just a simple swipe on his phone to engage lock mode for the night. And just in case he’s also added manual push-buttons for both solenoids in case anything goes wrong with the capacitive sensors. Cool hack [Andy!]

While you’re at it, why not make a keyless entry system for your car using Bluetooth too?

 

13 thoughts on “Bluetooth Security and Capacitive Sensing Tool Cabinet Handles

      1. Maybe I’m missing something but I don’t see anywhere in the linked page that explains where exactly this cabinet is or what it’s intended to be secured *against.* Without those details it’s completely impossible to assess whether this cabinet is secure enough.

        I’m sure you know discussing security-in-a-vacuum is completely pointless, and aren’t just racing to win e-cred by pointing out details you’ve seen identified by others as vulnerabilities.

        1. Quite true. Looking at the pictures, the state of things, and pulling out a wild guess is that he is attempting to secure against casual tool theft. That is he probably owns his stuff at work and things tend to go walking off. Borrowed but forgotten about or whatever.

          Protecting against honest coworkers? This is just fine. But It would be advisable to add something extra when on vacation.

  1. Most microcontrollers can be used as capacitive sensors. You will find app notes for designing capacitive sensors from most manufacturers. http://www.atmel.com/products/TouchSolutions/touchsoftware/default.aspx

    As the security goes, true, the thing it totally insecure for somebody with some electronics knowledge as long as the electronics are accessible.

    Still, why not make it automatically lock when the phone connection is lost and it is later than working hours?

  2. Make it activate a high voltage, low current, connection to the handle after a few unsuccessful entry attempts? :D

    1. Thieves are not going to try the handle. Well, maybe once, just to see if it is locked, or not. After that they’re going to jump on a forklift and simply drive through the wall. I know how industrial break ins work. I’ve seen a couple of them.

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