Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Key with lock status indicator

One look at the key will tell you if the lock is locked or not
  [vote for,

When you lock a lock with this key, the lock will set a little mechanical switch in the key so that you can then just look at this switch on the key to tell whether the lock is locked or not. This would be useful for when you think "Did I lock my car?" - You'd be able to just look at the key - if the 'locked' indicator was showing you'd know you locked it.
The obvious problem with this is that if you had two or more keys for the same lock, they wouldn't be synchronised.
hippo, Aug 21 2002

Lock status indicator http://www.halfbake...0status_20indicator
For locks, not keys - derivative idea. [8th of 7, Aug 23 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]


       I sat down, lit a cigarette and tried to get everything clear in my head. My place was locked - my Key with Lock Status Indicator told me that. Or did it? Janet had been gone for two weeks now, and she could've taken a copy. Who knows what goes on in that crazy dame's head?   

       Sorry [hippo] - you always remind me of your fabulous Film Noir Home...
sild, Aug 21 2002

       Great idea.   

       I don't think you need to worry too much about synchronising with other keys - what you generally want to know is whether you remembered to lock the door, not whether someone else has since unlocked it. Of course you could use a net-aware lock, and go to http:www//ismyhouselocked.com or get it to pester you with emails or something.
Loris, Aug 21 2002

       Excellent idea.   

       Remotely connecting it with other keys (or rather, with the lock) would make it more expensive, but a lot of people would buy it.
sadie, Aug 21 2002

       Croissant. A simple little tab or ring that tells you whether the last action undertaken with that key was a "lock" or an "unlock". Other people's keys are their responsibility. Only useful on deadlocks and car locks; rim (Yale) lock keys are normally only used to open a door. I would pay for this.
8th of 7, Aug 21 2002

       Elegant and a worthwhile real-world invention.  Even though multiple keys would be out of sync, it still is useful to know (as [8th of 7] says) what YOUR key's last action has been.
bristolz, Aug 21 2002

       Most porta-crappers and airplane restrooms have a similar indicator. This would be great on house/car/boat, etc..   

       Now all that's left is an Iron on/off indicator... did I leave that damn thing on again?
Mr Burns, Aug 21 2002

       How about a key that leaves part of itself in the lock? If that part is not on your key, you know the lock is engaged.   

       <not a bug, it's a feature>The lock could only be opened with that same key.</not a bug, it's a feature>
waugsqueke, Aug 21 2002

       Good idea.
ImBack, Aug 21 2002

       Usually lock/unlock my car with a remote. House too. I suppose you could have a lock status display on the remote also.
dag, Aug 21 2002

       I really like the idea in general. Wireless sync would be very hard to do. But I like the idea of only the key that locked it could unlock it. Kind of like the chip in car keys that makes it harder to make a duplicate. More useful for a single person who doenst have multiple people living in the house. But nonetheless a great idea.
StonedRaider, Aug 21 2002

       I lock my keys in my house/car all the time, so i could try and see my keys through the window and see if my house/car is truly locked...Brilliant!
gniterobot, Aug 22 2002

       And then there are those of us who lose the keys -- but it is a good idea for the rest of us!
banshee, Aug 22 2002

       I like your idea, hippo. One problem, though: there are 2 doors in a vehicle that can be opened by the key, as well as 2 other doors that could be potentially unlocked. How will this be addressed? It would be nice if you could dial a service and check to see if your house alarm was armed, and which doors were locked, as usually one key opens many doors in a house. Of course, this could be abused by burglars.
polartomato, Aug 23 2002

       //usually one key opens many doors in a house.//
Is that so where you are? My house has four entries covered by five keys (front door is double locked).
angel, Aug 23 2002

       [polartomato] - I was assuming central locking

In fact [bristolz]'s interpretation of this is better than my original idea, where the key indicator reads 'Locked' or 'Unlocked' to tell you what your last action was, rather than what the state of the lock is. Brownie point for [bristolz].
hippo, Aug 23 2002

       Maybe it could indicate BOTH whether the key is locked, and whether you locked it. Then you'd really know if somebody else has been in?
sadie, Aug 23 2002

       I think this is a very good idea. If it has been there in the first place by default, I would have accepted without noticing.   

       That makes me wonder how come this idea is not encorporated in the designs so far.   

       May be the thing is that, there are rock solid structure and which can not be changed easily.   

       I guess some type of mechanical work can be easily done.. The principal can apply to the variety of strucutre.   

       Ideas with remote status indicator are good too.   

       That way you just check your control panel instead of checking the devices whenever you need to check the things.
artist, Oct 31 2003


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