Car Key
at IAA 2015

TEAMS is the driving force behind NXP’s big unveiling at the International Auto Show in Frankfurt this weekend – a smart car key that is stirring up even more dialogue around the topic of ‘connected car’ and the future of mobility.

NXP Smart Key Launched at International Auto Show

At the IAA in Frankfurt, large groups of curious passersby surrounded the NXP booth in this year's New Mobility World, waiting to see the much awaited smart key. More than just an object that you carry in your purse or pocket, the intuitive new device is more of a resourceful companion centered on its driver’s needs. With the new smart key from NXP, users can set the temperature of the vehicle in advance, check the fuel status and battery, and arrange their preferred seat position. Adding another layer of security, the use of a bi-direction link ensures that no vehicle can be hacked – which has been an ongoing concern with one-way key fobs in the last year.

NXP hinted that there was still more to come in the near future – including an option for payment services via a smart key and other functions in the works.

And if there was a major takeaway from the NXP’s booth at the IAA – it’s that the future is calling for this new level of multi-functionality among products. Kai Gehrman, manager of industrial design & communication at TEAMS said, “In the future we will come to find out that design developments are not just reduced to one product, but instead yield way to parallel developments that are harmoniously intertwined and able to mold and adapt to multiple platforms.”

UXD Know-How for the creation of a smart companion

TEAMS Hamburg took the lead on the project. One of the questions we began with was “What will best serve drivers in an increasingly connected and fast-paced world?” The goal was to visualize the enhanced possibility of connectivity between the vehicle and driver. With our extensive knowledge in user experience, we used it as a main driver in quickly shaping the smart key into an intuitive companion for its driver.

Lisa Weller, senior communication designer at TEAMS and the project lead, talked about the important role of design in smart products, “The more intelligent and connected products become, the more important it will be to create an understandable, clean and optically superior interaction device / UI that provides the user with an intuitive and comfortable user experience. On top of that, it should also be nice to look at.”

NXP key graphics

TEAMS Hamburg developed the graphics for the NXP key, including an indicator to view the status of doors and windows.

Passersby at the NXP stand made it clear that that smart key was really nice to look at. As curious users held the key in their hand, they were reluctant to go. Users hinted to its aesthetically pleasing shape and fun icon language as being more than just smart, but also good looking.

Before leaving the NXP booth, we couldn’t help but ask about the meaning behind the name. The international team from the Netherlands, United States, and Germany looked up, smiled, and said in unison ‘Next Experience.’ One thing is for certain; we are sure that our design for NXP’s smart key will serve its users with just that.

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