Ann Arbor startup's key-free home lock wins Innovation Award at Consumer Electronics Show

An Ann Arbor startup won an Innovation Award last week at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas for its key-free technology allowing users to lock and unlock their homes with an app.


PassiveBolt won a CES 2020 Innovation Award in the Smart Home category. The smart lock technology company scored the award for its Shepherd Lock. Using touch sensing and artificial intelligence, the product provides users keyless locking, unlocking, and monitoring of their homes.


Through a secure app, homeowners can share electronic keys, access information on who has entered or left their homes, and control locks remotely. Because Shepherd Lock is an "add-on" home security product, users don't have to dispense with their existing locks and keys.


"We are proud and delighted to be recognized by CES as one of the most innovative products coming to market in 2020," says Kabir Maiga, PassiveBolt's co-founder. "It is a highly competitive award, and that makes this win that much more meaningful to us."


Maiga says the honor speaks to the quality of his company's engineering and the novel features that Shepherd Lock brings to the market.


He says his core technology team has previously worked on automotive keyless entry technology, allowing drivers to lock and unlock their vehicles by touching the door handle.


"The team set out to extend this convenience to the home," he says.


Maiga is looking forward to bringing the product to more households in the near future. While the company's award win was announced late last year at CES Unveiled New York, PassiveBolt staff officially collected the physical award this past Sunday at the CES 2020 international trade show in Las Vegas.


"It provides external validation that Shepherd Lock is a highly innovative solution with significant market potential," Maiga says. "It puts us in an elite class of select companies that have been honored in the past."


Jaishree Drepaul-Bruder is a freelance writer and editor currently based in Ann Arbor. She can be reached at


Photos courtesy of PassiveBolt.

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