Something strange happened during the automotive revolution: The engines got smaller, the batteries got smaller — heck, even the cars got smaller. Somehow, though, our car keys only got larger. It’s as if Alice took a drive through Wonderland.
Cars used to come with two slim keys: One for the locks and one for the ignition. You could fit them in a pack of gum. Today’s car keys wouldn’t fit in a pack of wolves. My last car came with a key fob that could have held the spare tire. How can it be that my 60-GB USB drive is no bigger than a thumbnail, yet I need a fob the size of a small child to open my car door? It’s a Honda, not Capone’s vault.
Like most things, it’s probably because there was never any money in the old design. Today’s car keys are intricate gadgets that cost more to replace than the transmission. They require batteries, for crying out loud, with tiny screws that only the car shop can open. Only the auto industry would consider the act of adding batteries to an ancient Egyptian technology as innovation.