28 September, 2011

Ultimate Business Card

My new pet project - trying to cram as many uses at the same time into an ordinary name card as possible.
  • Trying to keep it simple - just a piece of card, cutting it and printing things on it. Maybe sticking a piece of tape or string onto it. No metal or plastic. If I allowed metal, the first thing I'd make would be an iPhone SIM ejector.
  • Focusing more on urban uses, like for electronic devices and city life. Not so much jungle use, like a Swiss Army Knife.
Dividing the uses into functions to keep them organised.

Uses requiring minimal modifications
  1. Scrap paper
  2. Mini notice (with a piece of double-sided tape)
  3. Name sign
  4. Table balancer
  1. Ruler
  2. Protractor (only 60 and 45 degrees)
  3. Compass (draw circles)
  4. Set square
  1. Nail pick
  2. Finger splint
  1. Tripod
  2. White balance card
  3. Dust reference card
  1. iPhone stand
  2. Cable winder
  3. Mini packet (e.g. to hold a SIM card)
  1. Bookmark
  2. Weighing scale (don't know how yet, but it would be cool to have this function)
  3. Musical instrument
  4. Coaster
  5. Measure outer diameter of screws
  6. Cufflinks (not very commonly needed, but easy to do)

I've made some prototypes:
I tried to make tweezers but they weren't hard enough.

Update 14 May 15
There was a project on Kickstarter with some same ideas, Modus. Theirs was more for sketching, so it focused on rulers and compass and protractor. It's made of aluminium, so it's much stiffer than a card can be. Although I'd still be careful with it since aluminium is soft for a metal, and I wouldn't use it as a guide for a knife - I had an aluminium ruler once, and after using it with a knife to cut straight lines I found out I was shaving the ruler. Glad to say this project delivered exactly what they promised:
Actually there have been several other credit card-sized tools: Tuls, EDC Card, but I bought Modus because it was cheap, similar to what I was designing, and had the most useful tools to me. (there are too many hex wrenches around!)

Although being made of metal lets all these tools be much stronger than the cardboard I was designing with, these are more for personal use and you wouldn't give them away freely, so I'd say a name card is still different.

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