A smartphone app called KeyMe is offering a high tech solution to the old problem of misplaced keys by creating a digital copy that can be remade at any time.
KeyMe, which stores a virtual keychain in the cloud, arrived in Apple's App Store today. It was created to help customers avoid having to call a locksmith when home or office keys are lost, which can cost over US$100. KeyMe offers savings by charging $20 for keys if the original isn't in hand; the cost of copying a key that you do have varies from $3.49 to $5.99 depending on the style of key that's ordered.
Your scanned keys can be shared with friends and family. Physical copies can be ordered through the service, which ships in a few days via USPS. A regular locksmith can also make copies using the digital images. KeyMe says the images are secure based upon how it stores information and it also doesn't ask for addresses.
Apigy, a crowd-funded startup and makers of the "," has taken another approach. Lockitron installs over standard locks, and is connected to the Internet through Wi-Fi over an encrypted connection. It can be accessed through Android or iOS apps as well as through any browser; near field communication is enabled, so your very presence can unlock the door. It also senses when someone is knocking on the door, and sends alerts when there's activity. That eliminates the very need for keys, but is more expensive than KeyMe.
KeyMe intends to open kiosks throughout the United States, according to its Web site. KeyMe was founded in 2012 and is operating under a $2.3M Series A led by Battery Ventures. The company is based in New York City.
Image credit: KeyMe
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