We began to make up prototypes of our three main ideas. We also carried out some research into the three ideas. making up the prototypes helped us see some advantages and disadvantages of each idea. We finally decided on the unusable key idea. We felt it was a more generic idea and everyone could relate to loosing a key at some point. We went back to the library to research further into keys.
This helped me a better overall picture of how the key is a valuable item and how it has evolved so much so that it is now not fit for the purpose it was designed for. the keyless car is now becoming an easy target for thieves to hack into the onboard computer to program a new key.
Mind mapping and prototypes
Ideas how the unusable key could work. We also considered conductive paint and if a key could disintegrate somehow.
We finally agreed on the use of Shape Memory Alloy. for the key. The Shape Memory Alloy, when in its original state would be un-useable. When activated by a heat source the shape memory alloy would become a useable shape for the key.
The prototypes for the key to show the un-useable key – deactivated on the left and the useable key – activated key on the right.
We decided that fingerprint technology could be used to activate a heat source which in turn would activate the shape memory alloy.
We brainstormed a name for our product and came up with “S-key-whiff”!
The key could only be activated by the fingerprint of the owner. All the technology exists at the moment and in theory fingerprint scanners and heat sources could become small enough to use in the key. It would however be expensive to produce and to be more practical we would have to look into how it could be used by an additional user.
I felt we worked well together to share our thoughts, ideas, research and photos. We used Facebook group to keep in touch to do this. In our group there was a wide range of personalities – age differences and English language difficulties. Different work ethics varied from being organised to a more laid back approach. We had to consider all of these aspects and worked well to overcome them.
We found it useful to work in an interdisciplinary team as it brought different strengths and a variety of skills and viewpoints. This enabled us to learn from each other. Hope fully we can stay in touch for future projects.