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Phone app creates virtual copy of key chain, making replication of lost key easier, cheaper

Monday, October 28, 2013

If you've ever lost your keys and locked yourself out of your home, calling an emergency locksmith to unlock your door can be costly. But a new smart phone app is looking to change all that.

The app is called KeyMe and it stores a virtual copy of your key chain.

"If you come into the shop, it's going to save you a lot of money. The key itself costs a few dollars," said Mike White with AAA Locksmith.

White says the KeyMe app can save you on service charges and labor costs.

Just download the app and scan your keys with the phone. If you lose your keys, just download your key's data for $10 and bring that information to a code-cutting locksmith. They will be able to make you a new key right there on the spot.

"Each position on your key has a value, and you cut the key according to that value," White said.

We put it to the test to see if it really works, and the key we tried worked perfectly. However, White says there may be times when this app may not work so well, like at night.

"A retail shop like this is not open. You would still have to call after-hours services. If someone were to send a serviceman to your location at nighttime, you're still going to pay for that service. But we can still use the app once we arrive," White said.

He adds in that case, the app could save you some money on the labor.

If you're concerned about security, the app requires a login and password to get the key information. Also, the app does not store images of keys on the phone. Plus, in order to download your key's code data, a credit card is required for purchase. The company tells us if there's activity on your account, you'll receive an email notification.

The KeyMe app is only available for iPhone right now, but an Android version is in the works.

Also, the company tells us they have kiosks in other parts of the country that are automated, and open 24/7. Those are not available in Houston yet but could be a possibility down the road.

Find Jeff on Facebook at ABC13JeffEhling or on Twitter at @jeffehlingabc13

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