NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — If you find yourself losing or misplacing your keys all the time, a new “digital keychain” could be for you.
Five “KeyMe” kiosks have popped up in convenience stores in Manhattan, offering New Yorkers a back up in the event they need a key made in a pinch.
The key-osks are set up in 7-Eleven stores, including the one on 84th Street and York Avenue, and are the brainchild of Greg Marsh.
“My fiancée sort of got locked out all the time and that kind of coincided with me starting it,” Marsh told CBS 2’s Emily Smith on Tuesday.
The system works by putting your key in, selecting a design and typing in your e-mail address. In just about a minute and for $20, a copy of your key is dispensed.
For the cost-conscious and forward planning, customers can scan their key and leave a fingerprint for free, and then pay after they lose their key down the road.
“You come back here, I can make any of these keys in about 30 seconds,” Marsh said.
Marsh said customers’ e-mail information goes to a server and isn’t stored in the kiosk itself.
For extra security, the KeyMe machine doesn’t take personal information like an address or phone number, so unauthorized people won’t get access to your apartment.
“If someone were to access our database, which is totally encrypted, there’s no way they could make use of that information,” Marsh told Smith.
Some New Yorkers said the system sounds like a great back-up plan.
“Yeah I’d use it for sure,” one man told Smith.
“Calling a locksmith is painful,” added another man.
Getting a key made at a locksmith costs about $2, but that price can skyrocket to $150 if you need the service in the middle of the night, Smith reported.
“From the consumer’s perspective it’s a boon,” Alan Reisner, owner of ATB Locksmith, said, adding the kiosk still can’t duplicate car keys or high security systems. However, he said the concept will work for most people and could be the key to saving New Yorkers a lot of time and money in a pinch.
KeyMe is only based in New York City so far. Marsh said he plans to focus on Manhattan due to population and the density of apartment living.
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