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Key Teleportation Service

Instant Delivery
  (+36, -3)(+36, -3)(+36, -3)
(+36, -3)
  [vote for,

Somehow you manage to drop your keys in the sewer. What's worse, your wife is off in San Francisco on a business trip. You need to get into your house, your car, your boat, whatever.

The Key Teleportation Service can relieve your woes. Your wife brings her keys in to one of the San Francisco locations. Her copies of the keys are scanned and transmitted electronically to the New York location where the keys are cut for you.

Fees are on the order of what it would cost to overnight the keys. Except you get the keys instantly.

calculust, Jun 09 2009

Key codes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Key_code
[goldbb, Jun 09 2009]

Think your keys are safe on your desk? http://tech.nocr.at...keys-from-an-image/
Think again. Introducing "Sneakey" from UC San Diego. [gen1000, Jun 14 2009]


       I believe it's like a fax but but with keys being cut rather than paper being marked.
Aristotle, Jun 09 2009

       Yes, excellent. It's an absolutely ideal application for rapid protoyping too. I wonder what else it would be useful for.
nineteenthly, Jun 09 2009

       [Ian] You have to go and collect them from New York, I think - unless you live in San Francisco, in which case you can just arrange to meet your wife somewhere and get her keys.
hippo, Jun 09 2009

       I don't think the keys need to be scanned at all... just placed in a regular key-cutting machine, but instead of the information being mechanically transferred, it is digitised and transmitted, in a form of haptics. I'm sure this is most possible.
xenzag, Jun 09 2009

       Or, you could keep a spare key under a rock in your neighbour's garden.
oniony, Jun 09 2009

       Clever, easily doable, like it! [+]
theleopard, Jun 09 2009

       What xenzag said. +
DrBob, Jun 09 2009

       Sure, that's fine when your wife is in San Francisco, but what if she's on an expedition to the deepest Amazon, out of cellphone range? What then?
ldischler, Jun 09 2009

       A coat hanger through the letter box usually does the trick.
theleopard, Jun 09 2009

       //Sure, that's fine when your wife is in San Francisco, but what if she's on an expedition to the deepest Amazon, out of cellphone range?//

There's definitely a movie in that!
DrBob, Jun 09 2009

       + OK, good.
xandram, Jun 09 2009

       Certainly doable and clever, but how often does this scenario occur? Key cutting machines could be adapted to send and receive key patterns and blank types, but would the expense of this be worthwhile?   

       And you'd need to set up a network of some sort, a Western Union or Tele-Flora sort of thing, only for keys, so people know where to go. Perhaps it's something that an existing store chain that does key cutting could set up internally, such as Home Depot.
tatterdemalion, Jun 09 2009

       A key problem (pun intended) with this and many such inventions is ubiquity. You would need to have enough transmitting and receiving key equipment installed before it starts to make sense, preferably starting with places where this kind of activity is likely to be most frequent.   

       A side effective is that you would effectively have a machine that could record a digital footprint for any key the machine is used to copy (possibly on a covert basis). This footprint could be used to knock out endless copies of any particular key.
Aristotle, Jun 09 2009

       //possibly on a covert basis//   

       Which is the bonus for the key-maker, as he can sell your keys to any number of criminals. So you might as well stamp them with a code that references the patterns.
ldischler, Jun 09 2009

       As [tatter] said, definitely something the large hardware chains could set up internally, maybe with a way for other locations to buy in. You would also need a reasonably secure network for it, but no big deal, I would think. Honestly, anyone who can duplicate the key can pick the lock anyway.

As [xenzag] mentioned, it would not be hard to adapt existing keycutters to take a 2d input, and then echo that to a remote milling machine at the output location. I have done similar with 3d, and 2d is much much simpler.


       Oh and [Aristotle] it should be relatively simple to create the machines so they transmit without recording in any permanent sense. Not saying it couldn't be recorded by a third party, but proper design would keep it out of the hands of most people.
MechE, Jun 09 2009

       // Honestly, anyone who can duplicate the key can pick the lock anyway. //   

       Really? I've see keys being made. Not exactly challenging work.
ldischler, Jun 09 2009

       Still pondering the usefulness and potential market. I want to bun the idea, but I can't say I have ever been in a situation where I would have needed this service. I am curious, has anyone else?
tatterdemalion, Jun 09 2009

       There's not enough information in a key to make all this digitizing worth it. Given the key blank, a typical house key carries as about as much information as a four- or five-digit number. A locksmith or an amateur with a caliper can just read that number off the key. You could just speak that number over the phone.
jutta, Jun 09 2009

       //four- or five-digit number// - or less. I've heard that there are only about 200 different keys of the normal Yale type. This is enough to deter the casual burglar, who doesn't want to carry lots of keys. Better security comes with locking your door with two or more locks.
hippo, Jun 09 2009

       An even easier solution would simply be to pre-register your keys with your neighborhood locksmith.   

       The locksmith records your name and some personal identification info, and a key code [link] which can be used to recreate the key.   

       Then, all you need to do to get a new key is to visit your locksmith and provide proof of ID. This allows you to avoid the embarassment of your wife discovering that you were so careless as to lose your keys.   

       If, by chance, you haven't pre-registered your key, you'll have to call your wife... but instead of going to a "Key Teleportation Service," she goes to a regular locksmith, shows them her key, and asks them what the key code is. Then she calls you back, tells you the code, you tell your local locksmith the code, and he cuts your key.
goldbb, Jun 09 2009

       /It's an absolutely ideal application for rapid protoyping too. I wonder what else it would be useful for./   

       Can one teleport body parts using this service?
bungston, Jun 10 2009

       The typical lock has five cylinders, with pins that can be set to one of approximately four positions, so in theory, there are exactly 1024 possible key combinations...   

       And at least two types of keys these combinations can go on...   

       And some companies make slightly longer six cylinder locks...   

       I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be hard to digitize it all. In fact, some keys used to have a code number stamped onto them for "digital" copying purposes. Those aren't around any more, because people would read the number off your key, and go request one to be cut to that specification.   

       Security on the key-faxing idea is a must, and more important than you would think. However, I must bone this idea on the grounds that it is not using teleportation technology at all.
ye_river_xiv, Jun 10 2009

       [ye_river_xiv] The way I see it, a physical object is converted into information which is transmitted in a way that only pure information can be, then this information is reconstructed into the "same" physical object on the other end.   

       So it's crude, but I think it fits the bill. What is your definition of teleportation?
calculust, Jun 11 2009

       Doable now. Great idea!
superjohn, Jun 12 2009

       My definition of teleportation is this:   

       One object is instantaneously transported from one location to another through non-physical means.   

       Unless your wife's key is destroyed, this is not teleportation any more than a fax is a paper teleporter.
ye_river_xiv, Jun 13 2009

       A fax is not a paper teleporter, it's an information teleporter.   

       The sending fax machine scans your original document, creating a duplicate of the original's information.   

       The sending fax machine then teleports that duplicate to the recieving fax machine (the duplicate is destroyed in the sending machine, thus fitting your criteria).   

       The receiving machine, after recieving the teleported data, creates yet another copy (this time on paper), and then destroys the digital version from it's memory.   

       P.S., what does "non-physical means" mean?
goldbb, Jun 15 2009

       // what does "non-physical means" mean //   

       If you have to ask, you shouldn't be here.   

       PS We don't know either. Paranormal means ?
8th of 7, Jun 15 2009

       No-one has ever said that the original should cease to exist, in terms of teleportation. That is a really moot point. In our universe, excluding multi-verses, there is more than enough entropy, perhaps hidden in "dark matter" and "dark energy" to contain more than one "original". Adding in multi-verses and etc, we can have several "copies" of an original, all equally viable. None of this has anything to do with the idea.   

       This is quite a good idea, criminal activity notwithstanding.
4whom, Jun 15 2009

       // This is quite a good idea, criminal activity notwithstanding. //   

8th of 7, Jun 15 2009


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