— Good Thinking
KeyMe stores keys digitally, cuts them when you forget yours
The KeyMe kiosk stores keys as digital patterns in the cloud for latter duplicating
Getting locked out of the house is especially frustrating when you’ve forgotten the “safe” place where you hid the spare key. As an alternative to sleeping in the garden shed or emergency locksmith fees, KeyMe allows you to store a digital version of your house key in the cloud from which a duplicate key can be cut on demand.
The KeyMe kiosk is fairly straightforward in terms of operation. After creating an account, the kiosk scans your key and stores the pattern in the cloud for later access. When you want to cut a new key from the pattern, you can visit any KeyMe kiosk, which will retrieve the pattern after you identify yourself by a fingerprint scan. You then select from a choice of keys, including decorative keys and a combination key and bottle opener option, and the kiosk does the rest.
The kiosk uses what KeyMe describes as “advanced robotics” to cut a key in 30 seconds and the company claims that it is more accurate than hardware store or locksmith key-cutting machines. However, though it cuts home and office keys, it won’t do car keys. This isn't surprising, since most modern cars use a key with a programmed microchip to prevent theft – if they have keys at all.
KeyMe emphasizes that the system is secure. The pattern is stored in the cloud is encrypted and can only be retrieved by means of fingerprint identification and opening a KeyMe account requires a secure credit card. No information is stored that could identify where the key might be used and a confirmation email is sent to you whenever a duplicate is cut.
The KeyMe kiosks are manufactured in partnership with Benchmark Electronics, Inc and will be be deployed at select 7-Eleven stores in the New York City area. While storing key patterns is free, cutting a key from the pattern costs US$19.99. Copying keys in hand without a stored pattern is also possible for $3.49 to $5.99, depending on the key design selected.
About the Author
David Szondy is a freelance writer based in Monroe, Washington. An award-winning playwright, he has contributed to Charged and iQ magazine and is the author of the website Tales of Future Past.
All articles by David Szondy
Fingerprint readers are too easy to fooled for home security.
Slowburn, there are two types of home security - one is the kind that most of us use, the "too much trouble" kind (for which a fingerprint scanner fits well) and the other is the "locked vault" kind, which I can't actually imagine, but I'm sure would involve something more complex than the normal door lock that can be knocked out with a good ram or someone with time and some talent with a screw driver. Of course, as one experienced "reformed" car thief once told me (when I ironically locked myself out of my car at his house) - "if we were really trying to get in to this car, we would have knocked the window out long ago".
A fingerprint scanner on a mall kiosk that doesn't tell anyone my address is enough security for me, and (if they really are more accurate than some minimum wage hardware store employee) would be a nice change from the months of having to break in new keys each time I get them cut.
As someone with an older car and someone who realizes that a car key that won't start the car will still get me in the door, I would rather have the option of cutting a car key. My most likely use for something like this would be when I drop my keys in the river and only notice a couple rapids later...suddenly finding the nearest kiosk sounds a lot more inviting than getting a companion to run me all the way home and then back (often a journey of 100+ miles each way).
re; Charles Bosse
Good locks on a stout door makes breaking in take long enough or look wrong enough to attract unwanted attention. The effort to capture the digital information doesn't show and the fake fingerprint can be created from the information that the real finger print would be checked against.
Also find a new key cutter the one you are using is producing garbage.
re; Bryan Paschke
Before I started keeping my keys tied to me I kept a spare car key in my wallet.
"Fortunately I keep my feathers numbered for just this sort of emergency.--- Foghorn Leghorn
re; Charles Bosse
Unlike slowburn I'm unable to find a key cutter who doesn't produce garbage. A set of small files does the trick, however, to save you months of having to break in new keys. Just smooth off the rough edges of the cuts and deepen any valleys a bit, all the while filing a bit, then trying it in the lock again, then lathering, rinsing and repeating.
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