Science and Tech


Company Copies Keys From Photos

A new company allows customers to make copies of keys by simply uploading a couple of photos. But could it also be great for thieves?
Posted at 12:31 PM, Sep 22, 2014

Technology can be amazing, even for mundane chores like replacing lost keys. 

The emerging company Keys Duplicated wields computers that can read the grooves of your key to the millimeter from just a couple of photos. (Video via NBC)

And better yet, a new key costs only $6. The problem: No ID verification is required. Naturally, the fear is the site could enable thieves to walk right into your home. 

NBC sat down with the CEO of Keys Duplicated, Ali Rahimi, who did admit there's a chance someone could use the company to break into a home. He said the chances were unlikely, though.

RAHIMI: "It ever happens, it's going to be a jilted ex-lover or disgruntled co-worker." 

As if that makes it any better. Some might argue that response is a little too chill when one's house can be broken into for the price of lunch. But possibly for that reason, the site does offer two proposed safeguards against thieves. 

A credit card is needed, which the company argues creates an easy-to-follow paper trail. Also, for the technology work, high-quality photos of both the front and back of the key are required. So a picture while you're walking by won't do, but if you valet your car and your house key's on that key ring, that could be a different story. 

Now, considering how easy it can be for someone to get a hold of a credit card number, that first safeguard doesn't seem so safe. As for the second safeguard, we continue the blessing and curse of better technology — cellphone manufacturers are fighting each other to have the most professional-grade cameras. 

The Sydney Morning Herald reports the new iPhone shows improvements in autofocus speed, finer exposure adjustment and a greater depth of field. Even a quick picture becomes sharper and arguably more dangerous. 

NBC said no cases of theft or burglary have been reported to Keys Duplicated but also noted the company is still relatively new.