Duplicate house key with a photo taken by smartphone


How many times have you been locked out of your house without a key? Chances are it has happened a time or two. Did you have a back-up plan? Doing so would require you to travel to the hardware store and get a duplicate key made. Actually, there are now key ‘vending machines’ at some local big box stores that can save you some valuable time. But his could be the simplest and most time-saving option yet: ‘key by photo’, by Keys Duplicated.

House key with a photo. Simple.

The concept couldn’t be simpler. Take a picture of your key with your cell phone. Email. Get key. Done. Here are the steps as laid out on the Keys Duplicated website:

1. Hold the key in your hand, by its loop, in front of a plain untextured wall or table

Take photos of both sides. Be a sport, please don’t conceal the “Do not duplicate” mark if there is one.

2. Photograph both sides from 4 inches away

Capture the entire key, including its head. Keep the blade in focus. And please let us see your fingers, as a security measure.

3. Email pictures to

Send the highest resolution photos possible.

Hint: On your phone, click the link above and attach photos to the email.

Not bad, right?

What about security?

Keys Duplicated says they won’t accept ‘flyby’ images of keys. It must be a very clear shot of a key in a persons hand. And a credit card is required to ship the key, so if a case of fraud is suspected, they say identity can be traced.

They also state:

Your key and its associated information are stored on our server with bank-grade cryptography. Your shipping information is redacted from our system a few days after we ship your key. That way, no one (including us) can associate your key with your address.

They mention that the US Mail is the safest way to receive your new key. You can even have them send a key directly to a friend or someone you’ve trusted to watch your house while you’re away.

How it works

Here is a video of the company’s ‘robot’ analyzing the key. It is later cut using a 3D printer.

There are questions that still remain like what if someone has access to a key in a public place long enough to snap a picture of it (at a gym, office, school, etc.)? And others question the your security with the actual company – as mentioned on the company’s Facebook page.


What do you say, would you use this service? Let us know in the comments below. We’ll order a key and review the process in the meantime.

Key Image: HypeBeast

Josh Benson

Josh Benson

Josh is the Editor of and supreme geek to boot. He spends much of his time learning new software, coding languages, gadgets and more. He loves helping people figure out tech problems - big or small. Josh is a former television news anchor and tech reporter. He spends his days developing websites and producing videos.

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