Picture it. You stumble out of the bar at four in the morning on a Saturday night, as you are wont to do, and realize that your keys are gone. Or maybe you ran out to get your laundry from the dryer and forgot to grab them. Or you left them at Starbucks, which is basically your second home anyway. Whatever the reason, you’re locked out, and it really sucks.
A Long Island City-based startup called KeyMe has created a self-service kiosk designed to eliminate this pesky problem. It stores a digital copy of your keys so that they can be reprinted at any time. Storing a digital copy of the key is free, while actually printing out a key costs $19.99. Creating a duplicate runs from $3.49, for a classic key, to $5.99 for “novelty keys,” like KeyMe’s ergonomically designed bottle-opening key, so that you can quickly pop open that beer and lose your keys all over again.
The kiosks will be appearing in five 7-Eleven stores in Manhattan this week.
“Three million people get locked out annually in New York City,” KeyMe’s CEO Greg Marsh told the Daily News. “Most call an emergency locksmith and, on average, pay $150. I wanted to come up with a better solution.”
While some New Yorkers may be skeptical of storing a digital copy their keys at a 7-Eleven and not, like, a Duane Reade at least, Mr. Marsh assured the Daily News that the company puts a premium on security. According to their website, KeyMe does not store any data that would connect the key to a specific location, users must log in using their fingerprints, and confirmation e-mails are sent anytime there is activity.
“Unfortunately for me, I think it could catch on,” a locksmith living near one of the new kiosks told the Daily News.
This is actually a brilliant idea for New Yorkers who live alone or have roommates (like ours) who refuse to answer the doorbell, even at three in the afternoon. And now, stumbling into a 7-Eleven at four a.m. for a late-night pack of Gummi Worms can serve a dual purpose. Mr. Marsh, we salute you.