As any contemporary lifehacking, less-but-better urbanite knows, it's tough to reduce your everyday carry past the threshold of the holy trinity: keys, wallet, phone. The adventurous might try (and succeed) in doing without the last item, but realistically, it's tough to forgo either of the first two personal effects. Designer Anthony Hoang and engineer Nhu Truong, childhood friends from Orange County, CA (not unlike another entrepreneurial effort we've seen), hope to reduce these irreducibles down to a single essential object. The Keylet is a card-sized metal money clip with a twist: a hinged key is concealed in two of its corners (the body is roughly as thick as a key between two thin plates of stainless steel... which is more or less exactly what it is).
The credit card form factor has become a sort of gold standard for what is worthy of toting around in one's pocket, if not in the wallet itself: the Cardsharp knife and the ChargeCard (still available on Kickstarter) are a couple of our favorite examples. Yet the origami-like pocketknife and discreet USB cable are luxuries, for those of us who see fit to carry them alongside credit cards and ID—useful, no doubt, but not essential.
The Keylet is more ambitious, at once a threat to our trusty wallet and favorite keychain: it's rather more versatile than, say, a card-carrying iPhone case (so to speak), and I, for one, would prefer the flexibility of having my keys+wallet separate from my phone.
Scott Amron's "Split Ring Key" might be considered to be a precedent, though it has the opposite drawback: where the combination keyring+blank might not offer enough grip area (i.e. torque) for particularly stubborn locks, the blank+wallet might be a bit unwieldy at times (for example, the video shows the Keylet with a car key).Meanwhile, the other issue is that it only holds two standard-ish sized keys, which led Hoang and Truong to create a second product, the Key Caddy, which is basically a Swiss Army knife of keys. No word on whether they're offering different blanks, but I daresay the Key Caddy (pictured below) might actually be the more popular of the two designs, as it is a more versatile unisex product that fits on an existing keyring. Alas, it plays second fiddle in the Key-cosystem, and the 40 standalone Caddies (at $35 a pop) are sold out as of press time.
The Kickstarter community will ultimately decide if the Keylet and its attendant Caddy are a good idea: the project has been gaining momentum since it launched yesterday, so with a bit of luck (and good press), they might just hit their $42,500 goal within the first week.