Turning a dream into reality
UniKey was founded in 2010 by Phil Dumas, a graduate of the University of Central Florida who set his sights on revolutionizing the key. Phil’s passion for access control started in his last year at UCF where he developed a mobile car access solution for his senior design project. After graduating, Phil worked with Sequiam Corp, developing biometric access control products and dreamt of a day when the world wouldn’t need keys. Years later, this dream led Phil to founding UniKey in his hometown of Orlando, FL.
The core UniKey technology allowed for home access free of keys, fingerprints, or passcodes. Phil brought his fully-functional prototype lock to ABC’s investment program, Shark Tank in 2012. The reaction to this revolutionary technology was nothing short of astounding: UniKey was the first company to receive investment offers from all five “sharks” on the show, and thousands of inquiries came in immediately after airing. This exposure caught the interest of Kwikset, the leading residential lock manufacturer in North America.
Kwikset entered a licensing deal with UniKey in 2013, and together they released the Kevo, the word’s first smart lock. The Kevo was a hit, winning multiple awards and garnering attention from customers worldwide-- today, eKeys have been issued in more than 65 countries. The partnership between Kwikset and UniKey has expanded since 2013 with the introduction of he Kevo Plus remote access wi-fi bridge and integrations with other smart home devices including thermostats from Nest and Honeywell, and the Skybell HD and Ring video doorbells. The Kevo 2nd generation, the successor to the Kevo, was released in early 2016.
UniKey has expanded from Phil’s initial idea to a successful and fast-growing company with offices in Orlando and Silicon Valley. The dream of a world without keys is spreading as UniKey is working with partners around the world, including UK lock manufacturer, ERA, and MIWA in Japan. As UniKey’s platform expands, so do its opportunities for integration into new markets. In the future, UniKey technology will be seen anywhere secure access is required, from smart homes and the connected car, to commercial readers and property management.