App Ends Your Need for a Spare House Key

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Never leave the house without your smartphone? New research is trying to ensure that will take care of your keys, too.

A house key app under development for smartphones lets users wave their phones at doors to unlock them. The app, called ShareKey, also will allow its owners to electronically share keys with a houseguest, a plumber scheduled to come in for a fix, or anyone else they like — and to attach certain limits to that access. A company could use the system to control employee and guest access to a building from anywhere in the world, say ShareKey's creators at the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology in Germany.

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