Hey, what happened to the “Lockpick?”

Did you shop at Solid Signal in the early ’10s? If so, first of all THANK YOU! It’s because of long-term customers like you that we are here to celebrate 20 years of helping customers online! If you were around back then, you might remember that we used to advertise a product called the “LockPick.” It had one purpose and one purpose only: it let you access features on your car’s entertainment system that were purposely disabled while you drive. So what happened to that part?

The company is… kinda still out there…

The company that makes the LockPick is still out there, and they still have a web site. It doesn’t look like it’s been updated in about 7 years and it still really has that mid-’00s vibe to it. That should tell you a lot. If you drill down, it looks like they have a small smattering of products for 2018 model cars but really most of their stock is for 2012-2015 cars when the product was in its heyday.

It’s all a big guess

Obviously a company really isn’t going to be honest when you ask them what happened to them. So I’m going to give you my riff on this. First things first, there was the rise of smartphones. All of a sudden there was another screen in your hand. You didn’t have to worry about playing DVDs through your car’s entertainment system. Which, by the way, I don’t think too many people play DVDs anywhere anymore.

I also tend to think that fewer and fewer people really want to mess with their car’s infotainment system anymore. In my youth, it was pretty common to go to the local Radio Shack or Sears and pick up a replacement radio for your car. Radios came in really one size, except for GM cars which had a hole twice as big. There were a few wiring harness choices, but honestly any teenager with a bit of confidence and a phillips head screwdriver could change out a radio. Today’s infotainment systems are massively complex combinations of receivers, monitors, and sensors that simply befuddle us. Just getting them out of the dash or getting to the back of them seems to require a master’s degree in Engineering.

And of course, there are now systems like Android Auto and CarPlay that give high-end features to even the simplest and most economical cars. It’s another thing you don’t want to mess with, and another reason why you wouldn’t need to. Both systems are very comprehensive and let you do many of the things that older entertainment systems didn’t let you do.

The safety issue

Now, you can talk about nanny culture and whatnot, but if you just apply a little common sense, there are a lot of things you shouldn’t be monkeying with while you’re driving. Your car has no way of telling if it’s a driver or passenger touching the screen, so it errs on the side of caution. As these systems get more fancy, it’s more tempting to delve into them. And really, you shouldn’t be doing that while zooming down the highway at 75. You know it, too.

It’s only common sense…

Combine the average person’s satisfaction with their phone and their unwillingness to take the dash apart just to add features, and you can see why this product is less popular now. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a collection of the best product to help you live your digital life to the fullest, shop at Solid Signal!

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.