• Kyodo

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Sony Corp. said Friday it will set up a venture business that will design a gadget that allows smartphones to open the doors of people’s homes and offices in Japan.

The ailing electronics giant, struggling to get a handle on an unprecedented hacking attack that crippled Sony Pictures Entertainment and stole its upcoming movies, will use its encryption and identification technology for what it calls a “smart lock business” to be run by a firm to be set up soon with a U.S. investment fund.

The company, named Qrio, is to be capitalized at ¥333.50 million, with 60 percent provided by the fund and the rest from Sony. In May it will launch a special device that can be attached to a cylinder lock component on the inner side of the door, called a thumb turn.

Expected to be priced at ¥16,200, the device will let people who have been registered by its owner and who have installed a special application in their smartphones to lock and unlock the door by tapping their handsets, Sony said.

Similar devices are already available that use Bluetooth technology to unlock doors.

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