I might be exaggerating a bit with the title of this article, since the “next evolution” of keys will most likely involve biometrics (iPhone 5S is rumored to use a fingerprint for unlocking), but Slide 2.0 comes close in changing the old key game. While not completely futuristic, the Slide 2.0 keychain from Keyport, Inc., is an interesting step in a new direction.
By enclosing the contents of a key ring within a rectangular housing that is “Smaller than a box of Tic-Tacs, thinner than a tube of Chapstick,” the Slide 2.0 has many benefits. This device houses six slots that are fully customizable, i.e., holding any of the following items: keys, USB flash drive, barcode holder, and a bottle opener. Future inserts currently being designed are a Bluetooth locator, a letter opener, and a pen. All of aforementioned items extend and retract from the device via sliding “nodes,” or buttons, along the side. Compared to a traditional key ring, the Slide 2.0 is able to save weight (approximately .8 oz according to Keyport, Inc.) by losing the excess metal from the key “heads” or tops of the keys. When fully retracted, the Slide 2.0 lacks any sharp edge so, when in a pocket or purse, it cannot damage other delicate and costly items, such as a cell phone’s screen. Lastly, each device is marked with a unique serial number along with the “Lost and Found” website. And, if found, Keyport, Inc. offers a reward to the finder and then returns the Slide 2.0 to its registered owner.
Looking for a cheaper key evolution? Instructions for creating a less-elegant form of a futuristic keying are available on Instructables.com. While this project is a much more frugal alternative (approximately around $20), it still possesses sharp edges and also lacks the “Lost and Found” program allotted by the Slide 2.0.
However, if you are still interested in owning a piece of the Slide 2.0's version of the future, the Kickstarter.com project for the Slide 2.0 ends on Saturday March 23, 2013 at 4:00pm EDT. At time of publication, depending on the options chosen to support the project, pricing ranges from $64 to $154.