This post originally appeared on Altimeter Group’s blog.

What if your smartphone’s lock screen could serve as more than a security barrier to your favorite apps, next phone call, or incoming texts? What if it could be the place where you receive the latest content from your favorite news sites, as well as a portal for connecting with your friends?

That’s the premise behind Locket, a lock screen app that allows its users to seamlessly access content tailored to their self-identified interests, directly on the locked screen of their phone. This means they can view and engage with content, without ever having to find and open an app.

Locket Screen Shot

Locket, which was named one of 2014’s best apps by Google, also allows for content curation and sharing directly from the lock screen. All of this is enabled through an intuitive, image-heavy interface that requires no additional app deeplinking to complete tasks. The content visuals are beautifully rendered, filling up the entire screen in a way that demands engagement. Its unintrusive advertising experience is as mobile CX-centric as it is attractive, seamlessly serving native mobile ads that are also targeted based on user interests.

Locket’s ultra-intuitive UX makes it a prime candidate for acquisition by social networks such as LinkedIn or Facebook, which are already beginning to play in the lock screen content arena (Facebook Home offers a snapshot of social content from the likes of Tumblr and Instagram) and news/content curation space (LinkedIn Pulse aggregates stories from handpicked sources). Both of these networks have work to do though in creating a simpler, more seamless mobile experience. This is where Locket excels.

Locket is also developing a new app called ScreenPop, which offers direct-from-lockscreen messaging capabilities within a UI that looks eerily similar to Snapchat. ScreenPop adds another layer of functionality to a user’s lock screen, making it even easier to complete common tasks such as taking and sharing a photo, with fewer taps, swipes, and inter-app navigation.

Locket’s quick jump into the mobile messaging space brings up the question: How long before existing applications also make the leap to lockscreen usability? And, how loyal does a user have to be to an app to assign it placement in the most easily accessible place on their smartphone?

Locket’s focus on custom content curation and ScreenPop’s shining messaging capabilities are solid catalysts for a new era of lock screen real estate development. It won’t be long before other companies follow suit and vye for this prime location (as many vendors already are in the home screen advertising arena). Luckily, Locket has really done its homework in researching its users’ mobile needs in order to offer a simple, easy to navigate, downright smooth user experience. This positions it as an excellent foundation for bigger players to build off when wider user adoption merits the need for swift lockscreen innovation.

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