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Smart City startup BLE Locking finds Estonia the perfect testbed for smart home solutions

Smart City startup BLE Locking launched its novel Bluetooth-based smart door locking system in Estonia. “Estonia, as a digitally advanced country, is the perfect testbed for smart home solutions to make them bulletproof to conquer the world afterwards,” Oliver Pruel, co-founder and CTO, says.

BLE Locking‘s digital lock testing in Estonia started in June, and so far, the company is satisfied with the results. “As predicted, Estonians are techies – you just have to come up with a new solution and they start testing it curiously, without any pressure,” Pruel notes. Based on initial feedback, the product is pretty well designed in advance and there is not much to change here.

Although, in terms of the customer journey, the startup has found gaps to improve. “Estonians are super spoiled with perfectly designed UX experiences. From Skype to Bolt – easiness of use is a must here,” Pruel characterises Estonia’s testbed feature which makes it appealing for tech companies worldwide to get top-notch feedback.

Techies make Estonia the perfect testbed

Estonia, known for its pioneering spirit in embracing innovative solutions, has once again proven its position as a testbed for cutting-edge technologies. With a track record that includes autonomous vehicles, cutting-edge electronics and breakthrough batteries, Estonia has become a hub for new DeepTech and IoT solutions.

Examples are plentiful: Estonian-made autonomous cars by Auve Tech are now being exported to Japan, smart delivery robots by Starship Technologies drive on UK sidewalks, and solar-panel manufacturer Roofit.Solar exports products to 17 countries.


Unlocking new markets

Simultaneously with testing, BLE Locking started a strategic partnership with German electronic locking unit manufacturer Uhlmann & Zacher to acceleratee the digital transformation in the smart door sector and prepare global expansion.

The partnership will bring a range of unique functionalities to the market, such as instant payment with Visa and Mastercard, seamless opening, and comprehensive receipt logging. By reimagining the traditional concept of lock and key, the two companies aim to revolutionise the traditional ‘analogue’ sector.

This collaboration enables BLE Locking to enter new markets, including the United States, and expand its customer base far beyond Estonia. The initial product launch featured Electronic Locking Cylinders and Electronic Door Handles, with plans to expand the portfolio to cover other segments of smart door units in the future.

Getting a foot in the smart door industry

According to a report by Fortune Business Insights, the global smart door lock market size was valued at $2.13 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow to $8.21 billion by 2030. Tens of millions of new systems will be sold across the world, as people want enhanced comfort and security offered by those solutions.

BLE Locking and Uhlmann & Zacher have joined forces to get a foot in the rapidly growing smart door industry with their advanced solution already in 2023.

Currently, the market for digital locking units needs more standardisation, and the quality of service from existing suppliers could be more consistent. However, BLE Locking and Uhlmann & Zacher are committed to addressing these issues and providing high-quality and reliable products to meet the growing demand. Their goal is to reach everyday users who still rely on mechanical locks but are open to embracing digital alternatives. They want to improve the security of digital locking units and enlarge a range of functions that conventional locks cannot provide, such as remote and safe key sharing with other users.

BLE Locking, founded in 2019 in Estonia, offers a line-up of devices that could replace physical keys and enjoy the advantages of digital locking for doors, gates and other systems.

German-founded Uhlmann & Zacher has a successful history of developing and manufacturing electronic locking systems since 1996. The company has already deployed over 1M electronic locking units across various sectors, ranging from large industrial buildings and hospitals to private households and small businesses.

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