Five keys lost, five recovered. 58 minutes on average!

Lost keys in LeuvenObviously, our own tests have already shown that Spotty functions well on a technical level. But would a human (the finder) go through the trouble of reading a Spotty keytag and actually do something with it? To answer that question, we needed a live test. That’s why, on March 5th, we conducted a small live test in the city of Leuven. We dropped five keys with a Spotty keytag in different locations throughout the city.

When we explain Spotty to people, we sometimes hear sceptical reactions such as “A finder won’t make any effort anyway when he finds my keys” or “The finder won’t understand what he’s supposed to do with the keytag”. That’s why we took five old keys from a drawer, attached a Spotty keytag to them and “lost” them in five different locations in the city of Leuven.


One thing we saw is that several passers-by noticed the key, slowed down and then decided to leave it where it was after all. After a brief disappointment, we realised that this was actually a good thing! After all, if someone without the proper motivation had picked it up, chances were that we wouldn’t have seen it again. Instead, it stayed where we’d “lost” it until someone passed who was motivated to act and get in touch with us. This delayed things for less than 10 minutes.

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The keys were picked up by people of different ages. We can’t know whether they scanned the QR code or looked up the code on the website. What we do know is that the notification SMSs started coming in quickly and that all five keys were reported before we got home! The average time between loss and report was a mere 58 minutes. Had we really lost our keys, we wouldn’t have even needed to call the locksmith to open our door. We had expected a good result, but this really exceeded our expectations. Without a Spotty keytag, you only have about 10% probability of recovering your lost items!

Location Key Lost Reported Time
verloren sleutel Hooverplein 15:50 17:00 1:10
verloren sleutel Ladeuzeplein Leuven 16:00 17:40 1:40
verloren sleutel Bondgenotenlaan 16:25 16:54 0:29
verloren sleutel Diestsestraat 16:40 17:04 0:24
verloren sleutel Tiensestraat 17:00 18:08 1:08
Average 0:58

The honest finders who participated – unknowingly – in our test, had a Spotty starter package sent to their home.