Trade Sep-Oct Interactive - page 24

German American Trade Sep/Oct 2013
hink about what you have in your
pocket right now. Usually there
are at least three things – smart-
phone, wallet and keys. Of those
three, keys are by far the most
inflexible because they are not made
for sharing. Invented 4,000 years
ago, they come with the disadvan-
tages of having to be physically
handed over, followed by a total loss
of control once given out to others.
The main driver behind integrating
the key into the phone is the uprising
of the sharing economy, worth $3.5
billion and growing 25% year over
year. Access to the home, specifically
apartments, becomes the bottleneck
when concierge services are booked
online but the key always has to be
picked up, dropped off or stored
somewhere. Think about those
instances when you go online to
schedule same-day delivery, care
givers, handymen, babysitters or dog
walkers. Having to arrange the
handing over of keys creates a dent
in an otherwise smooth user experi-
ence. It just makes no sense to book
services for an apartment or an office
online and then pick up a key
somewhere to gain access. Service
providers don´t want to think about
how to get the key and being
responsible for it. This hinders the
usage of those services. In a cloud-
based world, where everything is
backed up online and nothing can be
lost anymore, there is simply no need
to risk losing a key. But today, when
a key is lost, it´s gone. That is not
acceptable anymore.
The reason why we still have keys is
because there are billions of dollars
invested in existing infrastructure –
and additional dollars would have to
be reinvested to grant smartphone-
based access. Think about your
intercom that is probably over 20
years old. Getting a new shiny digital
panel that works together with your
smartphone would require pulling a
bunch of new cables through the
entire house or apartment.
KISI solves this dilemma by provid-
ing the first mobile-based virtual
access network that easily integrates
into large city buildings – without
rewiring or changing hardware. One
single device can be tied into the
network at any connection point to
provide a secure access signal. This is
how KISI allows users to remotely
unlock the door for others, or send
temporary time-based access before-
hand – right onto the smartphone.
Since every transaction is document-
ed and users can remove existing
access rights, it provides a level of
security that tenants and landlords
never experienced before.
We came up with the idea of an
access-sharing network when we were
– believe it or not – at Oktoberfest in
Munich. Each one of us had to leave
the cozy yet crowded tents at one
point to hand over keys to visitors
who came from other parts of the
world and stood in front of our
apartments with all their luggage –
waiting to be let in. Since the beer
halls were so crowded that we
couldn´t get back into the traditional
fest, we were convinced that there has
to be a smarter way to open the door
without having to leave the tent. This
is how the idea for KISI was born.
The name "KISI" pays homage to
the Turkish-named street near
Oktoberfest where one of the
founders lives. The Turkish word
“kisi,” meaning “people,” was the
inspiration for the name and
the vision of the company. Access
should be centered on people – not
on keys. KISI wants to enable and
enhance collaborative consumption
among everyone.
Contact info:
233 S 1st Street
1st Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11211
KISI Germany
TU München
1. Stock
Karlstraße 45
80333 München
The Digital Doorman
That Never Sleeps
German Startup Success in the U.S. – Bernhard Mehl from KISI gives insights:
Founders of KISI
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