Many Dutch automotive companies install safety hammers in their cars. This lets you smash a window and free yourself quickly if, for example, your car ends up in the water. However, the use of a regular car window breaker requires considerable effort. Often it is difficult to smash a window from an awkward position, such as hanging upside down in your seat belt.
The principle of pressing something against the window, rather than hitting it, seemed a promising idea. Research into existing products and patents gave us an insight into where there was room for smart design solutions compared to previous inventions. With these results in mind we were able to brainstorm further.
The unique innovation of the LIFEHAMMER® EVOLUTION is in the head. By simply pressing the hammer head against the window, an ultra-hard ceramic pin is released, this breaks the window, and then the pin automatically retracts. So you hardly need to use any force or have any freedom of movement to break the window. Intuitive operation is a must, not least because it’s a new product being used in emergency situations.
Of course, there is a seatbelt cutter integrated into the hammer again, so that you can cut through your seatbelt simply. The safety hammer is always at your fingertips, as you can easily attach it to the map pockets in the side doors of the car.
In the test phase, we carried out extensive tests on the ‘press-to-break’ principle with windows made from toughened glass. Hundreds of windows were sacrificed until we were sure of 100% effectivity. Ultimately we tested the hammer on real car windows. The seatbelt cutter was also thoroughly put through its paces. The result is a robust, user-friendly and safe automatic window breaker that always functions properly. Based on the innovative product design of Spark, design firm Flex/theInnovationlab took care of the styling, branding, engineering and production support of the LIFEHAMMER®.
Awards and recognition
The LIFEHAMMER® EVOLUTION is on the list of the Syntens MKB Innovation Top 100 2013. In 2012 the LIFEHAMMER® product line, which includes the Evolution, was awarded a Red Dot Design Award.
- Award: 'iF Design Award'
- Award: 'Red Dot Design Award'
- Award: 'GIO Special Award - Originality'
- Award: 'MKB Innovation Top 100'
- On TV: 'Als beste uit de test bij AvroTros RADAR'
- News: 'Two GIO's and Special Award'
- News: 'Spark products in MKB Innovation Top 100 list'
- In the press: 'LifeHammer® on designsite Core77'