Zippers have seen many advancements in recent years, but one thing has always remained the same — they take two hands to close.
Well, not anymore. Under Armour’s latest development on the zipper front is called MagZip. It uses magnets to attract the bottom rungs of the zipper. Just get the left and right sides close, and the MagZip snaps together. Then pull up to close the zipper the rest of the way.
We saw the MagZip during a presentation in Denver last month where the brand was introducing an Olympic uniform line. The company is banking on the product in a big way, promising to include the zippers in 400,000 products beginning in fall of 2014.
The simple but potentially revolutionary idea came from Under Armour’s Innovation Challenge, a contest that allows entrepreneurs to submit their ideas to the company for development.
Engineer Scott Peters developed the MagZip platform for a family member who struggled with zippers after developing myotonic dystrophy, a degenerative disease that makes zippers and buttons difficult to manage.
“My mom [an occupational therapist] and I got talking how to help him, and I jumped right in — ’I think I could come up with a better zipper than what the rest of the world has used for 100 years,’” Peters told Co.Design. “So we put a few magnets on a zipper, and of course that didn’t work so well.”
Under Armour took notice of the design concept and has refined it for final production. We look forward to a zipper that’s easy to use with gloved hands, cold hands and, hopefully, just one hand, very soon. —Sean McCoy