Locksmith 2.0

As we are about to move into our more permanent apartment, my quest of the day was to get an extra set of keys cut for my husband.
I looked it up online and found a locksmith conveniently located next to the local-ish supermarket.

But when I got to the address, it proved challenging to find the locksmith.

I checked Google again, and it said inside the supermarket. I looked around but could not identify any space within the supermarket that looked like a locksmith.
I followed my new policy:  don’t get frustrated not to find or do what you want, don’t satisfy yourself with half understood solutions, just go ahead and ask, even if I might sound really dumb for a local, who cares, they won’t remember me in a minute and I will make progress.
So I go ahead and ask a member of the staff for the place where I can get my keys cut. He kindly walks me to a yellow machine.

This is the day when I discovered KeyMe, the DIY locksmith bot. 

And I must say I found it great.

The thing is easy. On the touch screen, you select the type of key you need to copy. It can even copy fob and car keys! Then you insert the key in the machine and it does the job.

But the best is coming:

This machine is the end of my fear of locking myself out.
When checking out, I discovered I could save a copy of my keys and link it to my fingerprint. The information is saved in the cloud. So next time I find myself desperate with no way of getting inside my own place, I can just go back to the yellow machine, put my finger on the reader and get a new key. Such a solution would have saved me a small fortune a few months back in London on a Saturday night….
Looking up Key Me website, I learnt they even have an app that allows to copy keys just from a picture taken with a smartphone. Then they can mail the key to whichever address.

This machine is actually tech packed.
First thing I did when reaching the apartment was to test the keys and make sure they worked. They did.
While reading Key Me website later on, I learnt that they guarantee their copies. They can do that because their machines are actually much fancier than they seem. They host cameras that scan the key from all angles, the information is then processed through algorithms, ever optimised by artificial intelligence and machine learning, in order to 3D print the most accurate copy possible.

Wow! Data science,AI, machine learning, 3D print… All these topical techs in something that I thought as basic as cutting a key! Definitely a small life change worth writing a blog post from the Bay about! 

Also for the record: another little personal victory in getting us settled in SF 🙂

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Published by

blandavot

FOB in SF from London, keeping my eyes wide open for what's positive here to take it all in.

4 thoughts on “Locksmith 2.0”

  1. As a former employee recently wrongfully terminated, I’d like to tell you more about KeyMe. How they ask their employees to write fake reviews for their apps, treat their employees like garbage, their abysmal quality control, etc. I’d encourage you not to use their services. minuteKEY, Keysave and My Key Machine all offer superior service.

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    1. Hi!
      my blog is just for me to tell my friends and family the things that surprise me as I moved from Europe to the US. I am not trying to advertise any brand. I am even surprised that people other than those I know even read it. I just happened to have used KeyMe, which was a brand new concept for me as back home this type of service is still operated by a human. I just wanted to share that astonishment and the fact that hype tech is applied to much more things also. I do not want to make political. Also it is my first ever blog post. So I am not sure I am very comfortable with approving your comment even though its content must be totally justified. And I am deeply sorry to read this… I really hope you find a new job soon.
      Kind regards,
      Blandine

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  2. How is this not just an incredibly simple way of stealing keys? I borrow your keys, I have the permanent access to that as a result of popping into an entirely depersonalised corner of a supermarket. It seems problematic to me – convenient access that is easily gamed. Non?

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    1. My naive self had not think of that for a second… you could also cut keys you are not supposed to replicate with an in-person locksmith I guess… I focused on the positive of having the opportunity to retrieve my key if I would need it. But good point!

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