Lock it Down

Electronics have lots of buttons. Sometimes you don't want to press those buttons. You just want to leave things the way they are. iPods have Hold switches. Phones allow you to lock the keys and unlock with a key sequence. Windows Mobile PDAs allow you to lock and unlock using the touch screen. Modern cars let you lock the window controls. The thing is, these are all mobile devices. Are they the only ones that can use a lock feature?

How about locks for all types of electronics? I want to be able to lock my TV, DVD, and receiver controls. If you have kids, annoying friends, or even drunk uncles, you know that there are plenty of people that want to push your buttons when you don't want them pushed.

Give me a software lock. Put it on the remote next to mute. Put up a small, translucent, lock icon when operations are attempted while locked. Remove the lock when power to the device is interrupted, just in case you lock it and lose that remote :)


---ryan said...

Bonus usability link
Coding Horror on tabbed interfaces.
I think this is where Expose can shine. There could be a secondary exploding tabs animation that would let you see the tabs from your browser windows.

Jason said...

I couldn't agree more with your post. I actually have quite a few other devices that support this, and I say some nice words out loud in homage of the manufacturer every time I run across one.

My wide screen TV has had its front buttons locked out since the day I got it. My washer, dryer, dishwasher, and water dispenser on my refrigerator can all be locked out from prying hands of children.

Great stuff.