You hear myths of old-school locksmiths who are so in tune with their trade, they're able to copy a key just from looking at a photo of it. The old-school-looking guys I talked with at one local shop said they couldn't do that, but now there's an app that can. KeyMe, the company that brought robot locksmiths
to New York, has launched an iPhone app that is able to generate coded instructions that any locksmith can read, and make a copy of your key anywhere in the world.
The coded instructions are short and sweet. There's one line that tells the smith which blank to start with. There's a second line that's a series of numbers--say "3,1,4,1,6"--that tells the smith at what depth to cut the key's teeth.
Now, if you're ever locked out of your house, "you can walk into a mom and pop locksmith and give them instructions to make your key," says KeyMe founder Greg Marsh.