New York company KeyMe is looking to make getting a replacement key as easy as buying a Slurpee. The Long Island based company has partnered with 7-11 to test their new service in the Manhattan area. What is the service you ask? A replacement key vending machine located like an ATM right inside of your local 7-11. How the kiosk would work is that you have the specifications of your key uploaded into the companies database underneath of a log-in that only you know. Then when you are locked out of your apartment you can go to the KeyMe kiosk and have replacement made on the spot for just $20. In addition copies can be made for under $10. This seems to add a great amount of competition for local locksmiths who are unable to offer such a low rate for new keys. Unfortunately for many who are excited about the KeyMe kiosk it does have some major drawbacks. As we mentioned before as of now the KeyMe kiosk is only being tested at five Manhattan locations so there may be a bit of wait before we see a KeyMe kiosk in Los Angeles. In addition the KeyMe kiosk would not be able to offer a programmed remote for an automobile that uses a transponder key. Due to the computer chip inside of the key as well as the programming methods that must be used on transponder keys, it is impossible for KeyMe to offer transponder keys.
However local locksmiths could stand to see a decrease in the amount of business they do if these KeyMe kiosks are able to gain in popularity. The main use of the KeyMe kiosk would likely be for automotive or commercial lock outs where it is a standard lock for which you have lost the key. Some have raised concerns about the security that can be offered when you are having your house key uploaded however, KeyMe Inc says that they are able to offer secure protection for your specific key.
If KeyMe does begin to take off it could lead to the demise of a few non professional local locksmith groups since they may not be able to offer the more sophisticated key and lock services that we at Los Angeles Locksmith can offer. In this situation local locksmiths would have to shift their focus more to transponder keys and lock services since KeyMe could be an easy alternative for customers to turn to. For more information on the KeyMe kiosk check out the article on The New York Observer.