Product: Key
Keyring Ving Thing   (+2)  [vote for, against]
Easy-does-it magstripe-puller

Ving is the brand name of those magnetic-strip key cards used by just about every hotel I've visited in recent years. (The usefulness of this idea will depend heavily on this near-monopoly, since it minimises compatibility issues.)

To unlock your room (at present), you put the card into the "keyhole" card-reader, and then *slowly* withdraw it. A green light comes on to show you it worked.

Or, more commonly, you withdraw it not quite slowly enough, and a red light comes on to show you it didn't work.

This second scenario is probable in proportion to your pre-existing stress levels at the time.

So, I propose a device which will draw the magstripe out of the reader at a carefully calibrated rate. This device would need some little prongs to align it with the edge of the "keyhole", and a little (battery-powered? ipod-powered?) motor to slide the magstripe in and out.

To this point, it's almost practicable.

To make it sillier, (annoying the hotel management and enabling the jingling idea title above), I suggest that this device should not push your actual Vingcard (TM), but rather, it should push a little thing resembling a rolled-up metal tape measure, whose own magnetic strip would have been pre-written by applying a card-reader to the proper Vingcard.

This would enable the device itself to fit on your keyring (probably), provided you had somewhere else to stow the card reader.
-- pertinax, Oct 12 2008

ving website... case you've never heard of them. [pertinax, Oct 12 2008]

You should consider these guys for your marketing campaign
[zen_tom, Oct 12 2008]

The device could store all your various mag stripe information (ATM cards, credit cards, etc).
-- phoenix, Oct 12 2008

Or someone elses.

Power it with a coil spring, and a clockwork release mechanism. The spring is wound when you push the card into the slot.
-- BunsenHoneydew, Oct 13 2008

Wonderousness - would help no end after returning from the hotel bar at 2am.
-- wagster, Oct 13 2008

random, halfbakery