House Key Scanning Service 'KeyMe' Launches for iOS to Help Users Recover from Lost Keys

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    [​IMG]


    KeyMe, a house key data and key replication app, has launched today for iOS, helping users keep secure virtual copies of their keys even in the event that their original keys are lost.

    The app includes features such as the ability for users to scan in virtualized photos of keys on their phone using the camera, as well data storage of specific house key characteristics to make locksmith replication easier. KeyMe also gives users the ability to place mail orders for spare keys through the app and to share digital copies of keys with others.

    [​IMG]
    KeyMe began as a startup in 2012 and raised $2.3 million during its initial round of funding. The company has also installed self-service kiosks in select Manhattan 7-Elevens in June, and will continue a gradual rollout throughout the US in the coming months.

    KeyMe can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

    Article Link: House Key Scanning Service 'KeyMe' Launches for iOS to Help Users Recover from Lost Keys
     
  2. macrumors newbie

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    #2
    Take photo of key. Get copy of key by mail order. What could possibly go wrong?
     
  3. macrumors member

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    #3
    Where to begin about how bad an idea this is...
     
  4. autrefois, Aug 8, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2013

    macrumors 65816

    autrefois

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    #4
    My first reaction was that this is a neat tool for people who frequently misplace their keys or want to be sure to have a backup just in case.

    My second reaction was there would seem to be a HUGE concern with security. I see people leaving their keys all the time: at a restaurant/bar to go to the bathroom, in the coat area to go use machines at the rec center, etc.

    If someone leaves their keys unattended for a few seconds, someone could easily scan a copy of it and get their own copy made. Doesn't even have to be a stranger who scans a key and then follows you to your car or home to break in later — friends, ex's, etc. do sometimes rob people.

    I guess people have to be even more careful with their keys now...

    EDIT: Their website says: "Keys can only be scanned when off of the keychain, placed on a white piece of paper, and taken from 4" away. Furthermore, we require that users scan both sides of the key." This doesn't seem to be much of a deterrent, although slightly better than nothing I guess.

    They also say "To provide the highest level of security for our users, we require a two-step verification process for mobile registration. We combine a robust email authentication with an extremely secure credit card confirmation." So I guess if you're robbed with no sign of forced entry, and you know this service exists, you might be able to find out who robbed you (but I doubt it would hold up in court — how could you prove you just didn't forget to lock up and someone else came by?!).

    In any case, seems like a service that would be way too easy to abuse.
     
  5. macrumors demi-god

    firedept

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    #5
    I have a push button coded keypad on my front door and a real estate lock box with a key somewhere on my property. Problem solved and no risk. Plus I have one attack dog and security system if you do get past the code on my front door lock. Solves my problem of lost key.

    Oh, and if you get past my dog, I also have an attack wife!
     
  6. macrumors newbie

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    Mar 8, 2012
    #6
    It seems like they've given security a lot of thought:
    This system is totally secure, as long as

    • the key is on an unremovable keychain (I don't know about you, but ALL my keychains do not allow the removal of keys in any way)
    • the potential thief does not have access to a white piece of paper
    • the potential thief does not have 60 seconds with an iPhone to take a phone of BOTH SIDES of the key.
    Totally secure.
     
  7. macrumors member

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  8. macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Misplace a key - change the lock. Simple as that. I don't want any of my keys unaccounted for.
     
  9. macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Now I'll always be able to get in to apartments I have previously rented, once I make unlimited copies of the keys.
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    autrefois

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    #10
    Hadn't even thought of that — copies of keys you actually had a legitimate reason to have. I'm sure that landlords and new house owners always change the locks...

    Look at everything we've thought of in less than a half hour. Imagine what someone who actually wanted to misuse the service could do.

    KeyMe, making America less secure one key at a time.™
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    I'm pretty sure the landlord of the house's responsibility is to change the locks.

    Although I do remember an episode of Breaking Bad where an exterminator company who would get access to the house over a period of a few days to complete their extermination would sell copies of their keys for burglars to rob later.
     
  12. macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #12
    I like "Share A Key", like on Facebook and Twitter? :eek:
     
  13. macrumors 6502

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    #13
    How did this make it into the App store? I thought there was an approval process that would prevent this.
     
  14. macrumors 68000

    Cuban Missles

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    #14
    I think there are many risks here and the comments clearly articulate most if not all of them. I too am concerned. However, to look at it from the other side -- You have to have an account to create a key and that leaves a trail so you should think about it before using this service for illegal purposes.

    I would encourage this company to compare the digital fingerprints of each key to others. If one person uploads an identical key to that of an other account, some type of warning flag should go up somewhere in the system. That would help to ensure that mutiple people arent uploading the same key to possibly the same location (leaving some margin here for duplicate keys to duplicate locks in different locations - I assume that happens).

    Finally for the Grab and run criminals, the only kiosks to quickly get a key are in New York, so the rest of can rest a little (at least for now).

    My bottom line is that this needs a little more thought in terms of security, before this is a good thing. Until then, I stay just a little concerned (if I were in NY maybe a little more).
     
  15. macrumors newbie

    basesnow

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    #15
    How does this make it any easier? you can make a copy of your apartment key at home depot. Same thing. . .
     
  16. macrumors 68030

    sulpfiction

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    #16
    Are u kidding? Or getting paid? I want to become a thief today just so I can show u that I DO have access to white paper.
     
  17. macrumors newbie

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    #17
    Err, yes.
     
  18. macrumors G5

    nagromme

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    #18
    Good gravy!

    Any student-level Photoshop operator could take an odd-angle drive-by key photo and make it look to be lying flat on white paper with no keyring! As long as the photo is reasonably sharp and not too edge-on.

    And what about people you know (abusive boyfriend, thieving teenage child, drug-addicted friend, babysitter's brother, sociopathic valet) who have regular access to your keys? No Photoshop needed. Sure they could make a mold like in the movies, but this is far easier and would actually work.

    The basic idea is good, but key records should be stored locally on your own device(s) and you should take the image in person to a local locksmith. Sell THEM the software/hardware to receive these images encrypted over Bluetooth (or whatever) and make a key without long-term storage, and you have a business model.

    Or for long-term storage, you could email yourself or the locksmith a file, but only YOU, in person, could decode. No decoding it online. (Of course if you really want to give the locksmith an image password remotely you could. Save one trip. Still, don't have the locksmith MAIL you the key!)
     
  19. macrumors newbie

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    Jun 13, 2012
    #19
    Sounds like a great way to sell new locks!

    Forget selling keys, if I was a lock-maker, I'd use this as an opportunity to upgrade everyone who owns a tumbler lock to some next-gen lock (electronic, etc) that can't be so easily copied. They must love this app...
     
  20. macrumors 6502

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    #20
    This seems very risky for all of us that don't even use the app and makes a great case for never leaving a house key on the keys you give to an auto mechanic, etc. How is their verification process secure at all? How do they know that the key I'm replicating is my house key or a stranger's house key? How do they know when my mechanic says he is replicating his house key and proves his identify and address through their two-step verification process that it's not my house key he's replicating?
     
  21. macrumors demi-god

    firedept

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    #21
    Everyone seems to be worried about the thief. A thief whether they have a key or not is going to get into a house. A simple broken window solves the key problem. I like the concept behind it, but there has to be risk associated with this kind of App.
     
  22. macrumors 68000

    ritmomundo

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    #22
    I wonder how much it costs to get an advertisement- um, I mean "article" on MacRumors for my apps. Hmm... :cool:
     
  23. macrumors 68030

    sulpfiction

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    #23
    Lol...I misread ur post. I re-read it and don't know how I assumed it as saying thief's don't have access to white paper.
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    Rustus Maximus

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    #24
    Wonder if Schlage or Kwikset funded this? Good way to drive sales of new locks and deadbolts.
     
  25. macrumors newbie

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    Jul 21, 2011
    #25
    I imagine the potential for liability and lawsuits is pretty high for this company...regardless what their EULA says!
     

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