QR Code Key Fob Helps Your Lost Keys Find Their Way Home

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Don’t you hate that feeling, the one you get when you have just realized that you have no clue where you may have left your keys? If you are unlucky enough to have lost them in a public place, odds are they are as good as gone. Pumping Station One member [celtwolf] thought it would be great if your keys could help someone contact you instantly upon finding them, so he created a key fob that did just that.

SMS can use a similar URI scheme as the “mailto” protocol we are all familiar with, so [celtwolf] generated a URI that would send a text to his mobile phone with the message “I found your keys!”. He generated a QR code from the URI, then etched it on a piece of acrylic using a laser cutter. He filled in the recessed portions with a dark polymer clay, baked it, then coated it with a layer of nail polish for added durability.

Now, if anyone finds his keys and takes a picture of the QR code with their smartphone, he will immediately receive a text letting him know they are safe and sound. What a great idea!

A Keygen For The Real World

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[Nirav] found that he rarely printed anything useful with his RepRap, so to shake things up, he decided he needed to work on a project that didn’t involve printing yet more RepRap parts.

The goal of his project was to create working replicas of house keys by simply using the code imprinted at the factory. He purchased a handful of used lock sets from eBay, then carefully measured the keys with a ruler and calipers to get the blank dimensions just right. After that was done, he looked around online and was eventually able to create an OpenSCAD model using a chart of pin depth specifications he located. By changing the last line in the model’s code he can print any coded key. For keys lacking a code, he can manually measure the height of each bit and print replicas that way as well. Once printed, he says that they keys are strong enough to turn most locks he has come across, including deadbolts.

This is undoubtedly a neat project in its own right, though we would be interested to see if someone could get it paired with a program like SNEAKEY to generate bit measurements by sight alone.