The average person loses up to nine items a day, with house and car keys in the top three, according to a 2012 survey by British insurance firm Esure.
Now New York-based KeyMe is trying to ease that annoying and costly mistake by changing how we duplicate our keys. KeyMe has almost two dozen automated locations in the greater New York City area, as well as a few scattered around in Florida, Arizona and Arkansas. Its most recent location, which it launched this past week, is in San Francisco, with more coming soon.
First, you use KeyMe’s app for iOS — Android is on the way — to take a photograph of your home, office or car key. The app then uploads that image to the company’s system. A press of a button tells the app to deliver the key to you in the mail. Even easier, you can travel to one of KeyMe’s bright yellow kiosks and have a new key printed in under a minute. It costs roughly the same as the standard key-making process — between $3 to $6 — if you have your key in hand, but $20 to have one made from your cloud-stored image.
There are of course low-tech and higher-tech solutions to the problem KeyMe is trying to solve. I now use a a three-key combination lock box from a local hardware store, adding an extra layer of security over the trusty key-under-the-doormat solution. You could also use a $250 August Smart Lock, rated four out of five stars by CNET Reviews, which lets you unlock your front door with a tap on your phone.