Technology
Stiktag keyring employs NFC to unlock a path back home

The Premise. Few things are as necessary and as easy to permanently lose as keys. Not knowing where they were placed the night before is one thing, but what is someone supposed to do when those same keys could be anywhere in the city they live in?

The Product. Stiktag is a simple keyring that includes a unique URL, NFC, and QR identification that can point users to a means to contact the owner of said keys, get in touch with them, and arrange a hand-off. The keyring is durable and works after falling, being mildly damaged, and even after being submersed in water. By adding personal information to the site that finders are pointed to, owners can include photos to help them know whether or not they’re dealing with the right person and even include a monetary reward for returning the lost keys.

The Pitch. In an easy-to-understand video, Stiktag explains what the device is, how it works, and how the average user can use it to eliminate this universal problem. The company leads off with the telling data that at least 2 million people report lost keys to the police every year but fewer than 10% make their way back to the appropriate owner. Right away, it’s clear to see how Stiktag can solve this problem and the stress tests show that users don’t need to worry about the device breaking.  Stiktag needs $24,000 AUD to start manufacturing and place the first batch of orders, and at the $74,000 stretch goal, they will be able to ship faster and include more features for the site more quickly.

The Perks. Two Stiktags are available for the low price of $10 AUD, with an extra $5 for shipping outside Australia. Variants for backers are available at higher tiers, and at the $460 AUD level, a 10-pack is available that can be corporately branded for company property or brand advertising. Most rewards are expected to ship by May 2014.

The Potential. The Stiktag will certainly add a level of contact to finding lost keys that could help to recover them, but only through the assistance of others and only as long as the company remains viable. This is a pretty ingenious, low-tech solution to losing keys that might be improved with more tech and higher cost. Also, there is a significant worry that handling these transactions carelessly could help criminals find what keys they find belong to and help them commit crimes more easily, but it remains to be seen whether human decency and helpfulness is enough to change the stress of losing keys.

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