Darling Harbour in Sydney, Australia is being given a new look with an “inflatable brand identity.” The Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority wanted to create “extraordinary places the world talks about” by uniting the precinct and its series of annual cultural events under one easily recognizable and interactive brand to broaden their appeal.
The new brand is intended to appeal to people in a variety of ways. It employs communications, street furniture, way-finding, uniforms, and websites to create a unique and interactive experience for the public. It is a way to engage the public in the area’s array of annual entertainment events, including Fiesta, a Latin American music, dance, food, and culture festival; Hoopla, Australia’s yearly circus, sideshow, and street theater festival; and Santafest, an annual Christmas party.
Inflatable displays decorate the harbor, gates, and lamp posts with bright and colorful figures and words designed to attract attention and entertain the public. Interbrand Australia, the team behind the inflatable brand, also created an augmented reality app that enables users to play games, follow balloons to discover new sights, pop balloons to receive special offers, and send balloon messages to other users around the world.
The brand’s developers conducted an in-depth analysis and research to develop the branding strategy. The inflatable brand is designed to give Darling Harbour a new identity and a way to educate and engage locals and visitors from around the world throughout the year. It is designed to operate in a cohesive way and present a unified message about the area and all that it has to offer.
Swedish company Hovding has developed an inflatable air bag collar for adult cyclists who do not want to wear traditional plastic and Styrofoam helmets. The collar looks like a scarf and inflates if it detects that a crash is imminent.
The Hovding air bag is safer than traditional bicycle helmets because it covers a larger portion of the head and can cushion a shock up to five times better than a traditional helmet. A study by a Swedish insurance company supported that claim.
The inflatable scarf uses technology similar to air bags in cars, which use an electronic network to sense impending crashes. Two sensors detect movement that indicates a crash is imminent. A gyroscope tracks angular shifts, and an accelerometer detects sudden changes in speed. If it detects an impending accident, the scarf inflates with helium in less than a second. The sensors are powered by lithium-ion polymer batteries, which need to be charged. One charge lasts 18 hours.
If the helmet inflates, the user needs to buy a new one. The inflatable scarf has a black box that can record data from an accident, which the company can study. So far Hovding has received data from about 70 customers whose scarves inflated during crash. They are not aware of any malfunctions.
The inflatable scarf costs about $546 because of the expensive parts and fabric it uses and the expensive development process required to design it. It took $15 million in venture capital and seven years of research to develop the inflatable collar. The team had to simulate many different types of cycling accidents and create a set of algorithms to predict and respond to them. The company hopes to lower the price as they sell more of the scarves.
The inflatable collar was invented by Terese Alstin and Anna Haupt. Both are industrial designers.
Hovding expanded from Scandinavia to several other European countries in 2013 and plans to introduce the inflatable scarf in Japan. It also hopes to bring the product to the United States after receiving certification.
In honor of Heart Month, an inflatable replica of a human heart will be on display at the Ashland Town Center Mall in Ashland, Kentucky, to educate the public about cardiac issues.
Mega Heart XL is a 25-foot, scientifically accurate inflatable replica of a human heart. The inflatable heart will be on display on February 14 and 15. The exhibit is sponsored by King’s Daughters Medical Center.
Visitors can walk through the inflatable heart. It is intended to be an interactive, educational experience that will help the public learn about the heart, its function, and heart-related problems and conditions.
Employees from King’s Daughters Heart and Vascular Center will offer information about heart disease and answer visitors’ questions. Guest speakers are also scheduled to share their expertise. A cardiothoracic surgeon will discuss recent advances in heart surgery, and a cardiac nurse practitioner will share information about atrial fibrillation, a common disturbance in the heart’s rhythm.
Mega Heart XL is designed to appeal to visitors of all ages, from children through adults. Visitors enter the exhibit through the superior vena cava, the heart’s largest vein, and exit through the aorta, the largest artery that transports blood to the rest of the body. The Mega Heart exhibit also includes other features of the heart, such as valves and coronary arteries, and information about diseases and disorders, such as endocarditis infection, ventricular septal defect, mitral valve prolapse, thrombus, myocardial infarction, coronary artery bypass graft, and coronary stents.
Life Box is an inflatable rapid-response disaster recovery box that can be used to help victims of natural disasters, such as earthquakes and floods, who are in need of emergency shelter and supplies.
Life Box is a foldable polyethylene box containing two cardboard boxes with relief supplies such as food, water, and sleeping bags. An inflatable double-layer shelter is attached to the inside of Life Box. When it is unfolded, Life Box becomes the floor of the emergency shelter. The polyethylene foam is a shock absorber that also provides comfort for disaster victims and insulation for the shelter.
Life Boxes are available in three designs based on the type of natural disaster affecting the area. One version is for disaster areas that can only be reached by air and features an outer layer that can be used as a parachute. Another Life Box is designed for disaster areas that can be accessed by land and includes an outer layer of the shelter inside the box. The third Life Box is used in flooded areas and can function on both land and water. Two inflatable rings around the shelter enable it to float.
Life Box comes with easy-to-follow graphic instructions similar to those included with life vests. The inflatable structures can be set up in under a minute. Multiple Life Box shelters can be combined to provide shelter for families. Life Boxes can also be used to provide housing or can serve as temporary hospitals or offices during natural disaster recovery efforts.