The 8-KEY: 8GB USB Key - Find Your Keys, Save Your Day
The 8-KEY: 8GB USB Key - Find Your Keys, Save Your Day
The 8-KEY is a USB Key with encryption and a custom serial number to GET YOUR KEYS BACK if they are ever lost.
The 8-KEY is a USB Key with encryption and a custom serial number to GET YOUR KEYS BACK if they are ever lost. Read more
About this project
You asked and we listened. We're happy to be able to add both 3 new color options (silver in stainless steel, black in zinc alloy, and "kickstarter green" in zinc alloy, as well as different levels of storage (8 GB, 16GB, & 32GB).
**The early early bird that was originally only gold will be available in gold, silver, or black. We will send out a survey to those individuals at the conclusion of our campaign. Rewards will be processed as gold if no response to the survey is made within 1 week.
My name is Michael, and with the help of my dad Tim, we're here to launch the 8-KEY!
As a college student and businessman, we have always been frustrated in so many ways with USB drives. We rarely have one when we need it most, the ones that are around are flimsy, get stuck, and really just another thing to carry. It’s also incredibly annoying to always be guessing how large the drive is: 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, or 16GB, without reading some extremely small print or worse having to put the drive into a computer to check it.
With the 8-KEY, we wanted to provide a USB key drive that would have a higher level of quality, be affordable, and provide other very useful features. We wanted to make a key that everyone would consider to be something simple and necessary, always easy to carry around, have a cool look and style, but most importantly provide a serious chance to have your keys returned were you to lose them.
Get Your Keys Back!
Each 8-KEY has a unique serial number printed on one side of the key, with “Reward if Found” and the website “mykeys.org” on the other. At the time of your order, your contact information will be logged in our database with the serial number we ship you. If your keys are lost, the finder can simply go to mykeys.org, enter your serial number, and we will provide a prepaid envelope to mail the keys back, and send a reward in the form of a gift card to the person who returns it . We never give the finder your information, and we never give you the finder’s. We middleman the entire transaction so that both parties have an incentive to be honest, and so you have the best chance of getting your keys back utilizing the contact information from your original order (or kickstarter contribution).
Best of all, your contribution toward the 8-KEY includes our entire cycle pictured below of getting your keys back to you when they're lost.
After my dad and I created our vision of the 8-KEY, and saw the potential it had, we contacted over ten manufacturers from three different countries in order to find out what the best means to create a high quality 8-KEY would be, that will truly last for many years to come. We steered away from aluminum, which is commonly used in flash drives these days, and chose to go with a gold or silver stainless steel for our first 8-KEY after hearing the input of these manufacturers. With requests for further colors, we also are offering black and "kickstarter green" in zinc alloy. These will have the serial numbers and print silk screened in color onto the key instead of engraving with the stainless steel. While stainless steel has a longer life span, both materials are sure to last for years and years.
The 8-KEY is made of the most durable stainless steel we could find and we have lined up one of the best USB manufacturers overseas in China to handle all aspects of production. We have been engaged in talks with our contact at this factory overseas for the past 6 months to prepare for the 8-KEY Kickstarter. It started with discussions about quality materials, moved to design of a key that would fit any keychain perfectly, then on to ordering our first prototype of the 8-KEY so we knew we had a product that would be desired, and finished with the nitty gritty details of engraving, production, boxing, shipping, etc.
Engraving That Lasts
We had 2 viable options for imprinting the serial number and our website onto the top and bottom of the 8-KEY. The first is engraving into the 8-KEY the serial number, and our website which lasts the longest as it is physically engraved into the stainless steel itself. The second is silk screening which allows us to use different colors, but lasts only an average of 2-3 years. . Keeping in mind our mission to help people retrieve their lost keys, we chose engraving which will show in a white color on our stainless steel 8-KEYS (gold and silver), and provide silk screening for black and "kickstarter green" (engraving cannot be done on these colored keys as it would not be legible).
When it comes to encryption with the 8-KEY we have what we think is the best we can offer for our first generation. Though we have researched with various similar solutions, and done everything we can to have the keys encrypted prior to sending them to you, we've found that this is simply not possible. Each 8-KEY will be pre-loaded with iStar USB Password .exe file. After receiving your 8-KEY, you run the .exe file on a PC, and run through a roughly 5 minute setup process to encrypt the key with password protection. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide a solution for encryption to someone who needs to run the 8-KEY on their Mac for the first time, however the encryption will work on a Mac after you run it on a PC. Whether you have a Mac OR a PC, the 8-KEY is still 100% functional whether you want to install the encryption or not. You can drag and drop files as you please, and if you have no need for the iStar.exe file pre-loaded, simply throw it in your trash can and you'll never deal with it again. We hope to have a better solution in the next generation to provide more ample support for encryption for all of our purchasers.
There are 3 differences between the 8-KEY prototype pictured above/in the video and those that will be produced and distributed through the kickstarter campaign:
- The prototype was not made from a high quality steel mold made specifically for the production of 8-KEYS. It is an 8GB stainless steel USB Drive bent by the manufacturer to the nearest possible measurements to those pictured below. With a steel mold made specifically for the 8-KEY, it will lead to more consistent 8-KEY, more rounded edges, as well as a longer lifespan.
- The 8-KEY will be constructed from a two piece stainless steel piece or one piece zinc alloy from the get go that resembles that of an actual gold key. The prototype was painted from the same stainless steel in silver originally.
- The engraving of the personal serial #, as well as the instructions to return the 8-KEY will be done through engraving on both sides of the 8-KEY, and will show up in white (for gold and silver), or silk screened in white for black, and black for "kickstarter green".
WHERE KICKSTARTER COMES IN:
We need your help to go from prototype to full scale production and to build a top-notch website that ensures our continued success. Our factory overseas is ready to produce the first line of 8-KEYs after the, and your pledge will go towards production and high-strength steel molds necessary for the factory to turn out the quality we want on a larger scale.
We need a far more sophisticated build of our website at www.mykeys.org which currently is shown in a very rough version only to show our backers the the very basic elements behind the 8-Key Process. Included in these plans for the new website is a robust storefront, streamlined navigation for simplicity of returning keys, and security features to ensure that purchasers of our product are not exploiting the reward system and having their keys sent back and forth to themself (along with the $5 gift card for the reward)!
Because our rewards are straight forward when it comes to product, we anticipate less issues than that other Kickstarters have come across in the past with additional time needed to collect surveys from kickstarter contributors, shipping product errors, etc. If the goal is met, we expect to be shipping these out to you from sunny Southern California by June 2013!
- Kickstarter Launched! - April 23, 2013
- Kickstarter Campaign Closes - May 23, 2013
- Steel Molding Order Placed with Manufacturer - May 23, 2013
- 8-KEY Order Placed with Manufacturer - May 23, 2013
- 8-KEYs Received from Manufacturer - June 15, 2013
- Shipped out to Backers - June 21, 2013
For those of our more tech savvy backers, below you will find all the technical specifications for the 8-KEY.
- Memory Chip: Toshiba/Samsung/Hynix (highest quality available)
- Metal: Stainless Steel (gold and silver), Zinc Alloy (black and "kickstarter green")
- USB 2.0
- Read Speed: 13-15 MB/S
- Write Speed: 3-6 MB/S
- Length/Width/etc: (see above CAD Designs)
- Weight: ~14 grams
- Warranty: 1 year
As a reward for your pledge we're going to send you the first production run of the 8-KEY. All reward levels will include free shipping within the United States (including Hawaii and Alaska). For international shipping please add $10.
- $15 pledge (special thanks to first 500 backers): One (1) 8GB 8-KEY in gold, silver, or black
- $22 pledge: One (1) 8 GB 8-KEY in gold, silver, or black
- $28 pledge: One (1) 16 GB 8-KEY in gold, silver, or black
- $45 pledge: One (1) Special Edition 32GB 8-KEY in "kickstarter green"
Thanks for your support!
What if I keep losing my keys? Are you going to keep sending rewards to the person who takes them as many times as I lose them!?
- We are including 1 reward for a period of time ending one year after purchase for your serial number key. If we are contacted about your keys being found in the future, we will contact you as usual, and you will have the choice to pay $10 (the cost of a reward we give to the finder + shipping) for us to return your keys.
What about international orders? Are you going to have them ship my keys to America, then back to wherever I live?
- Unfortunately, the costs of middle-manning the return of lost keys from overseas is just not financially viable. We will, however, attempt to put you in contact with the person who has found your keys if you choose for you to arrange the return on your own.
Risks and challenges
The production lead time from the factory we are using is under 30 days for the tooling of our custom "8" design and the production of all 8Keys placed. We have aligned ourselves with an extremely reputable manufacturer who will be updating us throughout the production process.
A major issue we want to prevent are 8-KEY purchasers from returning their own keys for the reward we offer. It would be extremely detrimental to our business model if we didn't make efforts to prevent this. Through security features we plan to build into our website, and personal information verification we feel we will be able to keep this to a minimum.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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