The key to life isn’t a metal key at all, but rather an app on your phone – and it opens everything! More and more Android and iOS applications are featuring capabilities that aim to extinguish the traditional bulky key ring.

In the beginning the only thing your phone could open with a passcode was the home screen. Now, the latest technology is the digital key to unlocking other parts of your life, from your car door, to your front door, and even your hotel room door.

Companies in a multitude of sectors are joining the next frontier of technology and enabling their products and services accessible through apps. Automobile companies like Hyundai and Chrysler have developed mobile apps that allows drivers to start the engine and unlock doors while away from the car, and hotel chains like Starwood™ Resorts and Hilton Hotel and Resorts® will offer apps beginning in 2015 that allows guests to use their mobile device as a room key.

Independent applications such as UniKey and Lockitron provide building access, unlocks doors, and can even call an elevator.

All of these digital capabilities are password protected, pin code required, and some even use fingerprint recognition technology, similar to the authorization technology that Apple Pay™ uses. Biometrics has revolutionized the way we use keys, authorizing only those warranted to enter, and replacing what would be a heavy key ring lost in the bottom of a purse or the backseat of a car with one mobile device.

Just…don’t lose your phone.