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Key-Printing Kiosks Automate RFID Card Copying

KeyMe has retrofitted 111 of its kiosks with RFID functionality so that users with LF access cards and key fobs can print copies, while all future kiosks will come with the RFID technology built in.
By Claire Swedberg

According to Marsh, the company has retrofitted 111 kiosks throughout urban areas (the majority of which are in New York City) with an RFID reader and antennas built from a combination of off-the-shelf and customized reader components. When someone with an RFID card arrives at a kiosk, he or she can touch the screen on the front of the machine to select copying for an RFID ley. The customer is then prompted to place the RFID-enabled card or key fob within contact of the RFID reader sensor. The built-in reader then captures the tag's ID number.

The system offers the alternative of making a card, sticker or key fob. A user would provide a shipping address, and the RFID key would be mailed to that individual within two to three business days. The cards are duplicated at a cost of $14.99 or higher, depending on the kiosk location. Of the 111 RFID-enabled kiosks, 34 are located in Manhattan, in stores such as 7-Eleven, Bed Bath & Beyond and Rite Aid. The rest can be found in other cities around the United States, at grocery stores and retail chains.

The key-printing technology is aimed at the residential and automotive markets. However, RFID or traditional keys could also be copied to enable AirBNBs and CouchSurfing users to share keys with field representatives, as well as for maid services.

While KeyMe has retrofitted RFID functionality into some of its kiosks, it will now manufacture all new kiosks (its Gen 4 version) with such capability built in. Since the company began offering RFID in retrofits, Marsh says, "We're seeing really strong customer reception. We anticipate this being a core part of our business."

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