Locked out? This kiosk securely stores a digital copy of your key
Devin Coldewey NBC News
We've all been locked out before, and it can be a huge pain to raise a
locksmith at two in the morning or buzz a friend to let you into the
building. But soon you may be able to walk to your local convenience
store and get a new key cut just by scanning your thumb.
That's the plan of a new startup called KeyMe, which has created a
Kiosk that not only duplicates keys on demand, but lets you store the
key pattern digitally and associate it with your fingerprint.
So far there are five, hosted by 7-Eleven stores across Manhattan. You
put your key in a keyhole, where it is analyzed. You can then have a
new key cut for $3.49, or securely store your key data for later. It
doesn't keep your address or name associated with the key data, just
the short series of numbers that tells the machine what pattern to cut
encrypted, of course.
That way, when you realize you lent your only front door key to a
friend or left it at work, you just walk to the store on the corner,
put your thumb on the scanner, and cough up the $20 for a fresh key.
Yes, it's a lot more than the $3.49 you'd have paid for a spare to
hide under the flower pot, but it's a lot less than you might pay for
a visit from the emergency locksmith.
There are other key kiosks that quickly duplicate keys, but none that
let you store the pattern securely like KeyMe does. The company's
founder, Greg Marsh, hopes to expand throughout New York City and then
move on to the rest of the country.
Being able to store/send a key digitally would seem more plausible if
you could print a key with a 3D printer.
If your keys are locked in the car, you are still stuck without a way
to get to a store. I am thinking as 3D printers get more affordable,
you might get stuck in a place were you could get to a 3D printer.
(Keys locked in the car at the hospital)
I already have a hidden house key that I have used more times than I
can count. When I leave my car with a mechanic I always forget to
take the house key. I even have one of those key rings that separate
in two. One half for my truck and house key and the other half for