To Catch a Motorbike Thief

Devices that may answer Vietnam’s motorbike theft culture

Having your motorbike stolen is most likely one of the worst (and common) things that can happen here. Having worked hard to earn the money for a motorbike and waking up one day to see it missing is painful, frustrating and disheartening.

Enter SmartLock and SmartBike, devices designed by a team of engineers at Digi- GPS who want to prevent any breakups between you and your beloved bike.

The SmartLock (VND500,000) is a Bluetooth-enabled device that basically shuts off and locks your motorbike if you walk more than 10 meters away from it. Within 30 meters, it will send a text message to your phone if anyone touches or tries to steal your motorbike. Unfortunately the downside of it is that if you’re further than 30 meters away you won’t be able to receive the same text. Basically, no one will be able to turn on your motorbike without your Bluetooth activated smartphone nearby. The SmartLock is tapped into your motorbike’s electrical system.

For those with additional cash to spend, the SmartBike goes for VND 1.6 million and is more sophisticated. It takes all the basic features of the SmartLock, but adds a SIM card to the equation. Now you can text your motorbike (with a smartphone or ‘dumbphone’) to turn it off via SMS or your iOS app. In addition, you can track exactly where your motorbike is through a GPS. Basically, SmartLock is about locking while SmartBike is about tracking and locking, and both use the motorbike’s honking system to sound the alarm. SmartBike ships with a manual that enables any motorbike engineer to install it.


Who is Digi-GPS?
Digi-GPS is a company that specializes in locking and tracking cars and is now setting its site on motorbikes. The company made its money early on from selling over 2,000 blackbox units to car manufacturers and distributors, which were mandatory by the government in order to track cars throughout the country. Although the number of cars has been increasing in Vietnam, high import tax and small streets make growth marginally whereas there are over 33.4 million motorbikes in the country and the numbers are growing rapidly.

Founder of Digi-GPS Quan Dinh sees this as a big opportunity. “We’ve been talking to delivery businesses about our device and they really need it. It’s a clear opportunity because they have to manage so many motorbikes across the city. We’re interested in selling directly to them.”

The interesting thing is Quan is interested in getting more Bluetooth devices like these into homes. After motorbikes, he wants to allow Vietnamese people to control things like lights, TVs, and karaoke machines from their smartphones.

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BioAnh-Minh Do is the editor at for Vietnam focusing on technology startups, trends and companies. Minh also organizes events at


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