Crowd-funding the Qrio also allows the company to gauge consumer interest, with early adopters able to buy a prototype device for ¥11,250 (about $95). The company previously tried this tactic with their e-paper FES Watch, which launched on the same crowdfunding site without Sony’s name attached in September. It eventually raised 2,780,136 yen (about $22,729) of its 2 million yen target and the WSJ reports that Sony is hoping for at least 1,500 orders of the Qrio.
But while the e-paper Fes Watch struck many as a novel idea, the Qrio is more of a conventional product. A whole range of smart locks with similar features are already available in the US, including the brushed aluminum August ($250) and the Indiegogo-funded Goji ($278). With the Qrio expected to retail for around ¥15,000 ($126) it’s at least cheaper than its foreign rivals and Sony also claims it can be securely installed without any tools at all. However, it's questionable whether or not these features will endear it to the security-conscious — especially considering Sony's current woes.