Wait for it … Wait for it …
Whoa. To paraphrase the philosophers of Insane Clown Posse, magnetism, how does it work?
If you’re ever unconvinced that the simplest design ideas can create the most dramatic product improvements, think about this: Designer Jung Soo Park stuck a magnet–nature’s oldest invention–to a hammer–one of mankind’s oldest inventions. And in doing so, he created Neo, a hammer that can pick up those pesky, rolly nails from a table or floor. It can even hold your spare nails in place during the hammering process.
“While this kind of problem is solved by a tool belt with nail pouch in construction sites, having a tool belt to hang up a frame is just too much,” Park tells Co.Design. “Most of the times, we have someone else handing nails to us, or we hold them between our lips. Because most nails are made with metal, the simplest solution was using magnets.”
Even though Park went through several iterations to make Neo work–tweaking the strength of magnet was key–the end result is the perfect, simple product improvement. Nothing about the hammer’s ergonomics has to change, and the Neo shouldn’t cost notably more than any other hammer to manufacture. Rather, an age-old device has been retrofitted with an invisible technology to enhance its functionality. Granted, this idea probably isn’t geared towards pros, but you can easily imagine a handle with an affordance at the bottom that accommodates heavier gauge nails. And still, there’s an issue of making the magnet strong enough not to let nails shake loose during hammering.
But Park has me wondering how magnets could improve all of my gadgets. What if my iPhone could stick on my refrigerator? What if iPad could stick on my refrigerator?? What if my Macbook could stick on my refrigerator???
I’m gonna make millions. As for Park, he has no current plans to produce the Neo. Hint: Get to Kickstarter ASAP, dude.