Automatically Duplicating Keys from Photos

Duplicating Keys

This is one of those ideas that once you see you wonder why it hasn’t been done before. Well, it certainly was done often, but probably by expert locksmiths doing it manually… This software could simplify the whole procedure by an order of magnitude, making it accessible to any amateur.

UC San Diego computer scientists have built a software program that can perform key duplication without having the key. Instead, the computer scientists only need a photograph of the key. […]

In one demonstration of the new software system, the computer scientists took pictures of common residential house keys with a cell phone camera, fed the image into their software which then produced the information needed to create identical copies. In another example, they used a five inch telephoto lens to capture images from the roof of a campus building and duplicate keys sitting on a café table more than 200 feet away. […]

“If you go onto a photo-sharing site such as Flickr, you will find many photos of people’s keys that can be used to easily make duplicates. While people generally blur out the numbers on their credit cards and driver’s licenses before putting those photos on-line, they don’t realize that they should take the same precautions with their keys” said Savage.

It will take a little while before this technology is used by the common thief, but it’s only a matter of time before the software is freely available online and key-making machines that can take digital input are available, making duplicating keys easier (and safer) than other ways of breaking into houses.

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Source: Physorg

See also: Overestimating the CIA?

8 Responses to “Automatically Duplicating Keys from Photos”

  1. James Says:

    Thanks for warning us about the key duplication software. Just shows you, you have to be very careful what you put online, but offline as well.

    Voice modifying software

  2. bob Says:

    wow kind of like cyber cloneing…

  3. Tisi Says:

    You don’t need the software to do that. I believe I read an article months ago on I-hacked. com or something of how do do that without any special software.

  4. Michael Graham Richard Says:

    If you want to automatically do it, I believe you’ll need some special software. But if it’s more a hack/DIY project/artisanal thing, then yes, it’s possible without software.

  5. N/A Says:

    Thieves would never use this, it’s a needless effort and investment. They can achieve better results with no prior research and a $20 set of lock picks.

    • salty Says:

      You couldn’t achieve better results with a $20 set of lock picks. Picking locks isn’t as easy as people think, it takes alot of practicing and patience. And if you run into a high security lock like a medeco, you’ll be there for hours with a cheap set of picks. With this they can open the lock in seconds and there will be no sign of tampering.

  6. Bruce Jones Says:

    In a past life I was a locksmith so I speak from experience. The basics are every pin tumbler lock has 5 or sometimes 6 valleys where the pins in the lock line up. Each brand of lock has certain set depths of the valleys that correspond to the cut of the key. The key on the right? it looks similar to a 53543 The 5 is deeper than the valley next to it that is a 3 and so forth. Now you just cut a key to that code and your in. The better the guesser you are the less tries it will take to make a key that is a match. Tools needed: a key blank, a file, a micrometer and some other keys that you use for a gauge.

  7. Coralie Says:

    Touocdhwn! That’s a really cool way of putting it!

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