Wing-like car key fob concept promises a more ergonomic design for future drivers

Wing-like car key fob concept promises a more ergonomic design for future drivers

The vast majority of design concepts for future cars unsurprisingly revolve around the more exciting parts of the experience, from hands-free autonomous driving to hotel-like cabins to quiet, efficient, and eco-friendly engines. Of course, those aren’t the only parts of the driving experience, which starts and ends with drivers getting in and out of the car. Oftentimes, that part is presented as a keyless activity that either relies simply on the touch of a finger or the tap of a smartphone screen. It might be quick and efficient, but not exactly satisfying or meaningful. This concept tries to attack the problem from a different angle, retaining the tactile joy of a physical key fob while improving not only the features but even the comfort of using one.

Designer: Zander De Beer

A dedicated car key fob might sound unnecessary today in an age of smartphone apps, but having a distinct and direct device you can easily use is still far more convenient, not to mention faster, than fumbling around with a smartphone and its dozens of apps. It gets the job done without fuss, but it’s not exactly a memorable or even pleasant experience. Neither is its design the most inspiring accessory for a car, especially the sleek and sophisticated vehicles of the future.

This concept for a new kind of car key fob thinks outside the box and adopts a shape unlike any other fob. Instead of a small disc or teardrop-shaped piece of plastic, it looks to the aerodynamic form of an airplane wing or car spoiler for inspiration, promising a more ergonomic design that you can comfortably hold in your hand. It almost looks like a lighter, with one side tapering sharply to a single edge.

More than just a change in shape, however, this car key fob concept also offers a slight change in functionality. There are still buttons for typical actions like remotely locking and unlocking the car, starting or killing the engine, and even blowing the horn. What’s new is a large dial on top that you turn to set the temperature inside so that it will be as toasty or as cold as you want by the time you enter. This dial has a large display on its top surface to clearly show the current temperature so that you can adjust it accordingly.

The design tries to comply with Deiter Ram’s famous principles of design, though there are still some details that it leaves out in this current iteration. Knowing which buttons map to which actions, for example, could be a matter of guesswork and muscle memory as there are no clear indicators on them, not even embossed symbols that let you blindly press them. There’s also the question of whether the design, ergonomic as it might claim to be, is actually convenient to carry around due to its size and unique shape. Either way, it’s an interesting thought experiment that challenges the presumption that car owners of the future won’t even want physical key fobs like this.

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *