In any of those cases, a skilled lock hacker could recreate the key from the photos alone, using increasingly accessible tools like 3D printers, milling machines, or laser cutters. One group of researchers created a project called Sneakey in 2009 that showed they could reproduce keys photographed from nearly 200 feet away and at an angle. In other words, simply leaving your keys hanging from your belt presents a security problem, not to mention letting someone get ahold of them.
That means apps like KeyMe and KeysDuplicated haven’t exactly created the requirement that our physical keys be kept as secret as our digital ones. But they have democratized the security threat: Now even a lockpicking noob like me can demonstrate the danger of letting keys leave their owner’s control.