Keys as a Service

A couple of key (pun intended) events I have run into recently have me chasing yet another random rabbit. It started with this interesting article

It seems pretty bold that someone would allow access to their home by giving them keys to their place. The article mentions millennials are perhaps more trusting and likely to accept this service. Folks from older generations however perhaps would not be as likely to do so.

Also, I recently saw this Kiosk at a local store.

Key.me initially caught my attention because it reminded me of an event our family had this past summer when my youngest son lost his car key during his graduation pilgrimage to Ocean City. In pure teen fashion, he did not pick up the spare key left on our kitchen counter on his rush out the door to get to the beach. The process to get a replacement key to him was excruciating, however we did manage to cobble together a plan that got the replacement there in a few days. I wish I would have known about Key.Me a few months earlier, it might have made a lumpy situation a little smoother.

When I took a closer look at the Key.Me kiosk, I noticed during the process of creating a replacement key, one can also allow the Key.Me kiosk to take the image of your key and store it for future needs, thus removing the need to have the original key to create any future replacement keys. Its optional to store the image when you create duplicate key on demand at the kiosk, but heck why not save the image, its like a backup! There is also an app available that if your ever need a key replacement, such as in my sons case, you can goto the nearest kiosk and have one created from a stored image or shipped to your specified location within a few days at a very reasonable cost. 
 
Its intriguing to think of possibilities that might be in our future now that even our car or home keys are no longer just physical objects we tether to our keychains, but now can be transformed into digital property, much like currency and credit cards have been transforming. Perhaps we will in our near future wind up with a large number of cars with no ignition or seldom used ignitions; instead we would use our devices such as cell phones to start our car and drive. Most of these capabilities are available today, its only a matter of time until these features and capabilities are going to be stitched together to make a very useable and complete service experience.

Of course the rabbit chase brings even more questions. One such question is if there are going to be easy to use robust solutions in our near future that will allow one to manage all keys; car keys, my PEM keys for my AWS instances, my house keys, etc. Ideally all keys stored could be managed within ones digital keychain service that can dole out accesses, authorizations, create replacements or delete as seen fit. Perhaps this is the evolution of Key As A Service.

In any case, its fair to assume that we could all use a key management service that has a keen and highly useable UX and UI that provides a good solid key management experience for a multitude of users, both young and old. It also might be in order sooner than later, especially as so much of our traditional services are seeing rapid digital transformation that requires digital keys such as digital currency, digital signing, and on line banking. We are still in very exciting times and the technological disruptive wave seems to continue to grow.

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