Proxy bought Motiv to make rings into wireless keys

Chris Burns - Apr 27, 2020, 12:38 pm CDT
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Proxy bought Motiv to make rings into wireless keys

The folks at Proxy run a system that turns your iPhone into a secure wireless key to open doors with special digital locks. Now they’ve acquired the company Motiv, a company you might remember from their smart rings. They’ve decided to join forces to bring a more interesting future to the world, complete with a slightly more magical – and slightly more intuitive – digital means for opening doors and locks of all sorts.

Proxy is the sort of company that takes a concept – in this case wireless protocols from the iPhone (built by Apple, utilized by Proxy) – and makes it magical.* They’re using Bluetooth (more specifically Bluetooth Low Energy, or BLE) to transmit signals securely from smartphones to office doors. Approximately a year ago, Proxy did such an amazing job of presenting their intent to the world, they raised around $13.6M from investors in their startup. In March 2020, Proxy announced a $42M Series B round of funding – they’re doing well.

*Another example of this simple/magical utilization of tech is in NFC. NFC in the unskilled hand of the new user can seem relatively simple, straightforward, and ultimately useless, but when a skilled creator gets ahold of it, it becomes a key component in smartphone-centric wireless payments. It’s the wallet of the future – or it’s a way to connect to a phone to send an MP3. Awesome, or basic.

With Motiv, Proxy will expand their abilities to devices other than iPhones and Android phones. Per a Proxy representative this morning, “in the coming weeks, Proxy is adding support for Proxy identity signals to the next generation of the rings, to enable touchless workplace experiences for Proxy customers using either a smartphone or the ring. Longer term, Proxy sees tremendous potential beyond the office for the wearable form factor.”

This “next generation of rings” will likely come in the form of Motiv accessories. You’ll likely need to purchase a Motiv-designed ring, so to speak, from Proxy, that’ll match with the Proxy locks already in the making and in offices.

Current Motiv users will find that their user data both historical and future will remain “secure and private to you.” The data will “not be viewed or uploaded into any Proxy service.” Motiv will no longer sell Motiv Rings through their online storefront. Resellers may still have Motiv Rings available, but they will not be sold through Motiv. The Motiv apps for iOS and Android (on the Apple App Store and Google Play) will remain available for the foreseeable future.


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