"If I had to get a new Ph.D. now, I'd get it in polymer engineering - the manipulation of matter."
This is in some ways a unique idea from sf writers, who in the 1920's and 1930's were more inclined to deal with physical switches; also, you may want to find out more about the "Curtain" that this key controlled.
Compare to the softener key from Larry Niven's 1973 novel Protector.
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BMW's Remote Valet Parking Assistant
'Mary... claimed her car from the robopark...'
HAVOC Over Venus ala Bespin
'Cloud City is an installation on the planet Bespin...'
Neuroscientist Works Toward Virtual Immortality ala Clarke
'Nothing will be left of Jeserac but a galaxy of electrons frozen in the heart of a crystal.'
A Basic Income TED Talk
'They de-emphasized what lack of work would do to Mr. Everyman'
Smart Window Tints, Powers Itself
'The polawindow, which he tuned to clear transmission.'
What Can Magic Leap Expect From New 'Chief Futurist' Neal Stephenson?
'The goggles throw a light, smoky haze across his eyes...'
Should SETI Talk To Molecular Cloud Barnard 68?
'I myself am building basic chemicals at about 10,000,000,000 times the rate at which building is occurring on the whole ... surface of your planet.'
LikeAGlove Smart Garment Knows Your Size
'The tailor set moving a mechanism...'
EXACTO Bullets Change Course In Mid-Air
'This little weapon ejects a rather ingenious missile...'
Button-Pushing Robots Have Taken Our Jobs, Thankfully
'The ten forked ends of each arm commenced a rattling pressing of the buttons.'
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