Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Retro design?

Been going around in a Santro for the past few days. The Santro, in India is a relatively new car - with all its upgrades and is a preferred entry level vehicle. One of its design points in my observation is its door. Some readers will agree that in India, slamming a vehicle door shut is a calorie consuming physical activity thanks to what I call the Ambassador effect. The Santro door is designed in such a way that if someone for whom a car door evokes memories of yesteryear your door remains safe. The door needs more effort than many of the newer cars where a cute push is all that is necessary. So Santro owners can relax when that old uncle of theirs flexes his muscles while waiting to slam that door shut. (Many newer car owners often say, Can I please shut the door for you - and its not chivalry). It may appear under engineered, but its smart engineering.

Sometimes, effects like these please consumers. Like the click sound created in digital cameras when there is no reason or necessity for a click, except that we are tuned to hear a click sound when a photograph is taken.


Anonymous said...

Remember reading somewhere that cellphones have a similar feature -- people used to the background noise in landlines mistook the silence in initial cellphones - in the absence of either party talking - to a disconnection, so the cellphone makers had to artificially "inject" some noise to reassure the users that the line was alive.

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