KeyMe turns smartphones into metallic summoners with a new key delivery service
It's becoming easier and easier to manage almost everything about our lives with our smartphones. A few taps can summon a private driver, food from the nearest restaurant, or a personal assistant willing to perform almost any task. At least one company is trying to apply that same concept to paramours. (Preferably those without fanny packs or clown noses, I assume.)
KeyMe is today introducing a new service meant to offer similar access to locksmiths. The company will now allow its Manhattan-based users to order spare keys for delivery within a few hours, with independent locksmiths creating and delivering the keys based on the digital copies already stored within users' phones. The feature will originally be available only in Manhattan, but the company intends to bring the feature to Boston and other major cities in the coming months.
The announcement is unlikely to please critics of the service, who argue that storing digital copies of keys on often-stolen devices is foolish at best. Similar concerns have been raised about companies trying to turn our smartphones themselves into keys, leaving the distinct impression that people aren't comfortable with the idea of using smartphones to access their homes or store information about other things that would also provide access. (I wonder how many have similar qualms about our smartphone's ability to access our bank accounts, email services, and social networks.)
"Some people have voiced concerns about security, but the proof is in the pudding," says KeyMe CEO Greg Marsh. "We have tens of thousands of people who are storing their keys with us now. We’ve just been overwhelmed with positive reception, and now that people who store their keys are starting to use us to help when they’re locked out, it’s become really amazing.”
KeyMe's users are effectively choosing convenience over security, which often happens with new technologies. It would be harder for third parties to track our locations if we didn't rely on our smartphones to navigate for us; for thieves to access personal information on our smartphones if much of that information weren't on there in the first place; and for hackers to access online accounts if we didn't use the same password for almost everything.
But it's often easier to choose quick-and-easy access to the things we care about than to choose the more secure option, which is why we do all of those things and might potentially use KeyMe to order a spare key after being locked out of our homes or vehicles. It might be a little risky, but that's often what it takes to make our smartphones the technological summoners they've become.
[Image via The Woodlands Locksmith]