Stanford grad student raises funds for Kickstarter project

April 1, 2015, 11:30 p.m.

A Stanford graduate student raised more than $700,000 after launching his product on Kickstarter. The product, called Sesame, is the world’s first instant smart lock and was introduced in late February.

The product was born out of the collaboration of Jerming Gu MS ’15, a mechanical engineering master’s candidate, with two other Stanford engineers, Gary Chang MS ’15 and Sungjune Jang MS ’15. They bought a 3D printer and started creating prototypes of the product.

According to Gu, the idea for the product came to him after noticing people in the U.S. using apps to pay for things. He started thinking about how to digitize other products we all carry.

“So there’s things in your pocket, and one of these is a key…I wanted to get rid of the key,” Gu said.

Sesame allows users to control their door with a smartphone app. Sesame is connected to the users’ smartphone via Bluetooth and allows the phone full control of the lock. With the optional Wi-Fi Access Point that connects to the Internet, users don’t have to be physically near Sesame, which allows users to send access to their friends remotely and to make sure that doors are locked when they are not home.

According to Gu, the first prototype was made in June of 2014. It took about a half year from the conception of the idea to create it. Gu noted that he received a lot of support from resources in Silicon Valley and from friends and family back in Taiwan.


Contact Josee Smith at jsmith11 ‘at’

Josee Smith is a senior this year, majoring in anthropology with a minor in Spanish. She is the desk editor for the student groups beat and has spent her last 3 years at The Daily as both a staff writer and contributing writer. Originally from Washington State, Josee came to California for the warm weather and stayed for the awesome reporting. To contact her, please email jsmith11 'a'

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