KeyMe App Makes a Backup of Your House Keys

Dennis Faas's picture

We've all lost our keys at some point or another. But now there's a way to avoid having the locksmith make a house call: KeyMe, a new app that stores an image of a physical key. The image can then be used to create a new key at the local locksmith.

The app requires the user take a photograph of the front and back of their key using the camera on their mobile device. Photographs must be taken within four inches of the key or the backup won't work properly.

Once acceptable photographs have been taken, KeyMe stores them in the cloud. It then calculates the key type and the corresponding serial numbers, which is the information you require in order to reproduce a key. (Source:

Service Fee Required to Access Key Data

Unfortunately, KeyMe isn't exactly free. While there's no charge to store photographs of your keys, the app will request a $10 to $15 service charge if you try to access your key data.

Still, that's significantly less than what a locksmith would charge to come to your house and open the door for you.

If the service proves popular enough you may not need to visit a locksmith at all. This summer KeyMe installed five kiosks capable of producing key copies in New York City 7-11 stores.

KeyMe users can also use the service to send copies of their keys to friends and family members.

App Raises Security Concerns

While that could be a useful feature (particularly in cases where the KeyMe primary account user is out of state or country), it obviously raises concerns about security. One has to wonder what could happen if a mobile device is stolen and / or hacked.

KeyMe founder Greg Marsh says that shouldn't be a concern. He insists the system is completely safe and won't grant anyone access to key data unless they can answer a series of specific questions. (Source:

Marsh also points out that the requirements associated with taking photographs of a key (one must be within four inches) ensure that "flyby" photography won't work.

In essence, Marsh believes KeyMe is just as secure as any physical key but gives users a 21st century solution for a very old problem.

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