Keyzapp Quick Facts: Beyond Barcodes

What does Keyzapp bring over and above the traditional barcode system?

Barcodes were all the rage in the late ‘90s. Some enterprising agents and software makers began using barcodes to track keys and some of those systems are still around today. Barcodes were just the first step- they make some things easier, but key-based headaches have continued in many places that use them.

Keyzapp represents a major step forward. Here’s why:

You’re not tied to a single computer

Most barcode systems require special equipment & software, meaning you can only use it one or two computers. Keyzapp works on all computers, (scanners are optional) and almost every phone or tablet on the market today*

This is far more convenient- staff can look up keys at their desk and sign them out when they get to the cabinet.

Track every key movement

Most of us transfer keys in more than one way Sometimes, they are passed between people when outside of the office. Because Keyzapp works anywhere, these events can be audited and captured as well.

Absolute scanning simplicity

With barcodes you often have to open up your software click inside a particular box for a key scan – this is fiddly and hard to learn. With Keyzapp, simply tap the fob on the reader or phone and you’ll be taken to the right place without even touching the keyboard!**

Lower administration

Many barcode systems require you to print your own barcodes. This passes the cost and a time-consuming process to your team; they have to open the software, manage a stock of labels, print the barcode (then unload the labels) and then attach it to keys. Keyzapp’s fobs and stickers come pre printed and coded, you simply attach them to your keys and start scanning.

Lower cost hardware

Our NFC readers for PCs and Mac, are typically half the cost of the cheapest barcode scanner. With Keyzapp, your smart phone can scan fobs at no extra cost.

In summary…

Upgrading from barcodes to Keyzapp gives you:

  • Far greater convenience and flexibility
  • No admin headaches
  • Ability to track more activities
  • A faster, more user friendly experience
  • Bang for your buck

What really makes Keyzapp work is the way it enables your people to follow your key process consistently every single time, so you have complete peace of mind. Book a demo today to see how it can help you.

The story of Keyzapp in a nutshell

When a friend in the property industry approached us and explained that he had problems with tracking keys, we were pretty certain we could help. He explained that he was looking for simple software that used barcodes to quickly identify keys, and yet he was surprised to discover the software was not available.

Our first stop was traditional barcodes. Yes, they could be printed on keyfobs, and yes they would allow quick identification of keys. But, was there a better solution? We knew that web-based software that required nothing more than a web browser and internet connection would offer the busy staff in a lettings or estate office the best possible solution, but we couldn’t do this if we were using traditional barcodes.

Our next stop was 3D barcodes, or QR codes. These slightly odd grids of black squares are popping up all over the place on posters and flyers, and they can contain much more information than traditional 2D barcodes. Importantly, they can contain a web address, so we could use them for web-based software. The advantage of QR codes is also their downfall – they can be scanned by any mobile phone with a camera, but this means they take a little bit longer to scan as the mobile phone is moved around until the QR code comes into focus. Waving keyfobs in front of cameras would be possible, but still a little frustrating. The alternative of buying a dedicated scanner, like the ones on supermarket tills, was an expensive alternative.

Then came our Eureka moment – there was a new technology kid on the block, called NFC or Near Field Communication. Not a very cool name admittedly, but still a very clever technology. Small objects like credit cards or keyfobs could send information simply by holding them close to a reader. The information could be a web address. More and more devices were being built with NFC readers, from mobile phones and tablets to readers that could be plugged into a desktop or laptop. This was exactly what we needed – a quick and simple way to identify a keyring, simply by holding the keyfob over a reader. Or, as we liked to explain it, tracking keys by ‘zapping’ keys.

So, then all we had to do was build the Keyzapp software and work out a way to produce keyfobs with NFC…