Keyme – While physical keys are increasingly disappearing, much like cash they are still a part of life that will not go away for some time. All of us have misplaced a key at some time, and startup Keyme looks to help customers out of that jam. The company has kiosks located at select Manhattan 7-Eleven sites that allow users to print their stored key pattern on demand. Customers register their keys at the kiosk at no charge. The machine captures the pattern of the key against a credit card and fingerprint for security. If you lose your key, head over to 7-Eleven, enter in your information, scan your fingerprint, and you can have a copy of your key printed for $20.
It’s a novel idea that solves a real problem. While I’m certain all precautions are taken for security, Keyme puts the pattern for your house key with your home address and your credit card number online. That means security better be solid. The risks are the same as all of the other cloud services that increasingly connect everything – doorlocks, security systems, online thermostats, and more. As cloud services and gadgets make our lives more convenient, they inevitably expose us to new risks that we will all have to weigh against that convenience.
From a retailer perspective, some of these technologies could drive future opportunities. Imagine being able to provide a lockbox to which you can give programmed access one time only for a package or a grocery delivery. What if the security camera at our front door can page us when someone comes to the door and you can let them in remotely and lock the door again when they leave? Maybe the delivery man can even replace your eggs when you run out – or not.
Hyperlocal – This hyperlocal food market concept by Kayleigh Thompson provides a platform for farmers to sell their produce / food products. Think of this concept as the sort of infrastructure that etsy provides for arts and crafts sellers with an extension to price and label food. While it’s a long shot for something like this to take off, this sort of connection between producer and end clients is an increasingly common theme online eCommerce sites like etsy, fab and more. Large grocery chains could leverage a platform like this to bring together the best of a farmer’s market with the infrastructure benefits of a chain.
Nordstrom – The high end chain have been labeling their most tagged items from pinterest in their stores. It’s fascinating to see social media pulled into the real world. Seeing a top ten list of most popular products in a physical store brings an element of involvement to the store that could not exist otherwise. Expect to see more of these connections between the online and physical stores, and expect more of them to pay off as consumers become increasingly comfortable and attuned to connecting the channels.