Friday, March 24, 2006

Safety In Numbers

Today, I came across another prime example of engineering over-thought. The Ford Motor Company, for years, has offered a keyless entry system that has a numeric keypad built right into the driver's side door. To enter the locked vehicle, the user must either use the ignition key to manually open the door, or enter a series of numbers to gain access. This idea really is a nice feature, but there is a flaw. The numbers are broken down to two digits per button, looking something like this; [1|2] [3|4] [5|6] [7|8] [9|0]. So, why not just have the numbers 1 through 5? Because when you push the [1|2] button on the keypad, the car doesn't know the difference ... there's only one sensor, so 1 and 2 are really the same thing. The only reason for having ten numbers on the keypad, is to make customers feel better about someone else not having the same code ... that's all.


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