door lockThe biggest tragedy of technology is that it will inevitably create problems as soon as it solves another. A classic example are the electronic transponders that are now a standard security measure in every car and motorcylce sold around the world.

It may not seem like much today, as companies such as Advanced Lock & Key can provide on-site replacement key cutting services have downgraded the situation to a minor nuisance. But, there was a time when it seemed that efforts to make vehicles safer gloriously backfired and made the situation worse.

Love the Chips

Automobile manufacturers began developing electronic transponders in efforts to secure vehicles against theft by employing electrical identification into the process. During the 90s, manufacturers began embedding microchips into car keys, which were meant to activate a similar chip in the locking mechanism of the vehicle. Even a key with the exact same cut as the original would be ineffective if it didn’t have the chip.

People welcomed the measure as a step in the right direction in terms of vehicle protection, but it was soon apparent that it had its problems as well. The trouble became apparent when people began losing their keys and had to go through the titanic task of replacing them. Not only did people need to have new keys cut, but they also needed to have the chips in their vehicles checked so that mechanics can program the new transponder to match it.

Hate the Chips

There were calls from the public to scrap the project altogether as the frustrations with the replacement process began mounting for both drivers and mechanics alike. Fortunately, more people saw the value in increasing security over the inconvenience of getting new keys, and the transponder became a model in all vehicles moving forward.

As it turns out, the solution was a simple matter of effectively disseminating the technology to competent mechanics and technicians. Once the concerned parties were capable of programming the keys themselves, they began offering on-site programming services that minimised the inconvenience. The measures also succeeded in validating the transponder as a security system.

This just goes to show that while no machine or device will be able to solve every problem in the world, people will always find a way to solve the new challenges and make everything more convenient.

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