In 2009, Anders Sjöstedt, coach of Swedish Paralympics Table Tennis Team makes plans of developing a new ice gripper. Tired of the sleepy design of traditional ice grippers he develops a new one: better, more comfortable and more eastethic than what was previously available. ”Happy Grip” is made in bright colors and becomes a sales success in Designtorget stores in Sweden. Further, it wins Smartson’s big test of ice grippers. ”Easy to put on and take off, convenient walking and happy colors” are exclaims making Happy Grip a winner.
It all could have ended there, but Anders still isn’t satisfied. One big problem remains: ice grippers must be put on and taken off when moving between different surfaces, since the studs don’t give grip on hard surfaces such as tiling. This problem is long known to manufacturers and consumers. Also, the studs damage flooring in stores and offices and hurt your feet. Anders fears that this problem is perpetual.
One day another Anders appears. The mathematician Anders Karlsson plays a little table tennis and is tired of bad paddles. Anders Sjöstedt lends his favourite and as payment Anders Karlsson brings the perpetual problem of ice grippers home to his desk. ”Construct an ice gripper that tracts on ice but doesn’t get slippery or uncomfortable on hard surfaces”, is the challenge.
After a trip into maths and science, Anders Karlsson ends up with a quite simple formula. F= – k(x-x0), known as Hooke’s law, means that ”a deforming force is proportional to the elongation from the position of equilibrium”. Crystal clear for some, a bit foggy for people with limited interrest in science. Anders plans to invent a dynamic stud – that only does it’s thing when needed. The solution might be an elastomer in new design. With his garage as laboratory he begins to work…
Time passes while Anders Sjöstedt is busy with Happy Grip and table tennis, ignorant of his friend’s work. At eight on a friday night the phone rings. It’s Karlsson standing in the local hockey rink. ”Come here! I cracked it!” The two friends spend the evening walking and running across the ice with a new, revolutionary ice gripper. The prototype, made of traditional ice grippers mocified with super glue and slices of rubber hose, has hexagonal cavities with studs that enable the studs to move freely, giving stud traction on ice and rubber traction on hard surfaces. Twicegrip has seen the light of day. A new, revolutionary ice gripper with superior features.
On the west shore of Lake Hornborga lies the studio of Fredric Sehéler, graphic designer and brand developer. One day someone calls him on the phone. It’s his childhood friend Anders Karlsson who needs advice; Anders might be creative in science, but fails miserably in aesthetics. The prototype is ugly. Butt ugly! ”We need them to work like they do but look like they don’t. Nobody will want them if they look like crap. Can you help?” Fredric immediately realises the potential of the innovation. He also rises to the challenge of turning an ugly duckling into a swan. Two days later, Sjöstedt and Karlsson not only had the help they asked for, but also a partner. And the world had stylish ice grippers.
Sjöstedt, Karlsson and Sehéler submit patent applications and form the company Twicegrip Sweden AB. The Swedish Transport Administration happily helps with fundings for further development. Eventually, after seven different prototypes, the eighth generation is sent to Finnish Institute of Occupational Health for successfull testing and CE branding. Scientists and officials are impressed and excited – ”Innovative and impressive”. Suddenly the world is a lot less slippery. For joggers, hikers, dog owners, mailmen, anglers and hunters, policemen, firemen, old and young. Everybody.