Have you ever had to break into your own apartment because you couldn’t find your keys? I’m not sure why you didn’t contact a locksmith, but now you might not have to worry about doing either of those things ever again. KeyMe, the startup that brought key kiosks to 7-Elevens throughout Manhattan, now has an iOS app that allows you to store a digital copy of your key in the cloud.
Here’s how it works: You store a copy of your key by taking a photo of it on each side. The app walks you through how to do this. From there, any locksmith can create a new key for you via snapshots and duplication instructions displayed through the app.
You can also order duplicate keys by mail, which cost between $4.99 to $6.99 apiece and arrive within 2-3 days. KeyMe doesn’t store your address information, except temporarily while fulfilling mail orders, after which it is deleted permanently. It also uses advanced levels of encryption and password protection, along with email alerts for all account activity, so you’ll know if anyone tries to make a copy of your key other than you.
Another cool feature is the ability to share your key. If someone is visiting from out of town, for instance, you can send them a digital copy of your key beforehand which they can order through the app or bring to a shop to be made.
The app is free, but if you need to access duplication instructions it costs $9.99. That’s still a lot cheaper than making an emergency call to the locksmith.
I downloaded a copy of KeyMe and installed it on my iPhone 4S. Setup was fast, simple, and super secure, and so was scanning a copy of my key. Unfortunately, the key to the door of my apartment building is not supported. I got a message saying “This key type is not supported. We can do about 70% of the keys out there and are working hard to add new ones.”
So while KeyMe does indeed look like an awesome app, I’m afraid I won’t get to fully use it just yet. But that certainly won’t stop me from storing the rest of my keys in the cloud.
I want to bring a copy of my key duplication instructions to my local hardware store to see how they handle it. Then again, maybe I’ll just print out a plastic one at the UPS store.