June 26, 2013 at 2:21 PM ET
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.
via NY Daily News
Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is coldewey.cc.