My daughter slammed her fingers in the front door of our house seven years ago, all four fingers on one hand. She was just a little thing. Her fingers were smashed to the point that they appeared flattened and white. Her face crumpled in pain and tears were building. I comforted her as best I could hoping there was no permanent damage and wishing I could have saved her from that experience. It was heart breaking.
Her fingers eventually recovered. Fortunately, she doesn't remember that incident and there was no permanent damage. For many children, the outcome is not so easily forgotten. For me, the experience can never be forgotten.
I have spent the last seven years working on a revolutionary piece of hardware that can and will prevent other children and fathers from having to experience the frightful pain caused by the force of a house door closing. We call it the SoftSlam.
Hand and finger injuries involving doors cost $2.3 million in New Zealand from door injuries alone as reported from Accident Compensation Corporation, NZ (ACC). With a small population of $4.5 million, millions of dollars in hand repairs, hospital visits, lost time off work and rehabilitation is a heavy burden. In addition to payout costs, these injuries are counter productive for employers causing glitches in their normal operations and added work to an already busy schedule.
With the SoftSlam, the force built up during the closing of the door is absorbed by mechanisms in the hardware. SoftSlam is very discreet. You wouldn't know its was there unless you looked for it or felt the door close firmly in your hand. SoftSlam is pleasant to the eye, blending with other door hardware. When SoftSlam is installed, the door closes gently. Parents can worry less when their kids play with the door in the home or the their bedroom. SoftSlam decreases the scissor action of the door preventing serious injuries.
Slamming doors are also a huge noise problem in settings where sudden loud and even frightening sounds can cause the heart to beat rapidly, distraction, foul mood, or waking someone needing sleep for growth or health reasons. For these reasons, SoftSlam should be installed in areas such as schools, hospitals, day cares, nursing homes, and office buildings.
SoftSlam allows the user to close a door gently and quietly. When the babies are sleeping and the injured are resting, a softly closed door enables the caregiver, or a busy house hold to move to another important task without worrying about doors disturbing their charges.
Slams can cause damages to doors and their jambs and fixed sidelights. Broken glass is another problem that home owners and insurance companies face when a door slams. Insurance premiums and warranties can be reduced with the installation of SoftSlam. Home owners can save valuable time spent sourcing repair companies, filing insurance reports, and waiting for the repairs to be complete. SoftSlam is excellent for looking after your investment. Maintaining your home after years of wear and tear,
I need your help to bring SoftSlam to market. With the prototyping complete, testing underway, concept proven, and patents awarded, my desire to protect the fingers of children world wide has nearly reached fruition.
To move forward, we must begin production and marketing. The funds raised in the next 30 days will go towards production costs. Each pledge will received one SoftSlam from that production run which will begin a grass roots marketing campaign.
Our next campaign will focus on professional marketing.
Risks and challenges
The risks involved in this project are minimal. While we have not yet engaged in formal regulatory testing, the prototype has been tested in our house for two years. Formal testing could turn up some unplanned, unexpected fault in the product requiring further engineering. This is an unlikely scenario.
My wife is an engineer with 25 years of product development, planning, and project management experience. She has put the product through a number of exercises to foresee issues and discover what we don't know. In the two years that we have been working with this product, a few issues have come up and have been ironed out prior to this final production stage.
The first was difficulty and cost of manufacture. We abandoned machining the part and went to injection molding cutting manufacturing costs and time significantly.
One of these issues was return to position for a strike. We have worked that out and now have a much faster return time.
Another issue was with the difficulty of assembly. I made a few minor changes to the body of the product and now have a simple to assemble solution.
The greatest barrier to our success now is meeting completion time. As we are very small, we are frequently pushed aside as bigger projects consume resources. Fortunately, we are not damaged seriously by these scheduling setbacks at this time. We can be once orders start rolling in.
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