Decent Descent

With a huge amount of the world’s population heading up to find living and working space, much focus has turned on finding safe and efficient ways of letting people down in ways not involving George W. Bush. “The Wizard” was dreamed up to make the high-rise lifestyle a little less scary by providing a quick exit in an emergency situation. The Wizard “caters for this necessity by providing automated public safety solutions with up to 250m of reciprocating lifeline technology.” Let’s say a fire breaks out in the first ten floors of your high rise and Bruce Willis is on the roof trying to mow down some well dressed German terrorists, what can you do? Well you can make like Spiderman, strap on The Wizard and scream “weee weee weeee” all the way down. This life saving device uses webbing woven from liquid polyester capable of withstanding forces in excess of 2 tonnes. Engineering plastics based on semi-crystalline polyamides were specified for the case and internal drum, encasing a cassette spring recoil system capable of deploying a 50-250m Kevlar lanyard. The compact design and robust injection moulded shell protects the unique internal mechanism from the environment and user abuse, allowing the unit to be serviced at minimum cost.

Designer: HJC Design

32 Comments

  • Git Em SteveDave see says:

    'm a paranoid fellow, and since pre-9/11, I had always said if I worked in a high rise, I.E., the twin towers, I would either own a parachute or a length of rope and a harness. My theroey was in the off chance there was a fire, I was better off “BASE” jumping than regular jumping, or with the rope, I could repel to the ground, or at least past the “blocked” floors to a clear floor to escape.

    This seems like a good idea, but too much seems to be able to go wrong with this. I am very concerned with the mounting of the line. You don't want to descend face first, but rather back first.

  • p says:

    very cool idea. I think a lot of people would like this peace of mind, even if it [hopefully] never had to be used. I wonder how fast someone could get into that harness though?

    looks great, too. I’m glad to see a well thought out product on here that is realistic and takes manufacturing procedures into consideration. that external ribbing is sweet.

  • Subterfuge says:

    What is woven liquid polyester? Is it stored as liquid and is woven and dried as it is released, like a spider or silly string, or something else?

  • Gann says:

    This is a pretty cool idea, but a couple questions come to mind. How heavy do you have to be for it to work? If you’re too light, it won’t uncoil. If you’re too heavy, it won’t slow you down enough to keep you from splatting when you land. Ideally it could be adjustable, and not have to be custom fitted.

    • TheClassic says:

      Its probably based on acceleration, which is independent of weight.

      • Matt says:

        You’re getting your terms mixed up. Weight IS acceleration of mass.
        The more ‘massive’ you are the more force will be applied to the rope.
        This is dictated by the famous ‘F=ma’ where F equals force in Newtons, m equals mass and a equals acceleration.
        So the more massive someone is, the greater force applied on the ‘cassette spring recoil system’ would be.
        I suspect it would have something in this design to counteract the force and keep it constant for everyone.

        • Ryan says:

          the company I work for has been selling a device like this for years…and we weren’t even the first ones to come up with the design.

          the curcular part contains a centrifugal braking system. no matter how light or how heavy the user is (as long as they’re within the rated capacity of the system) the decent rate will always be the same..

  • Git Em SteveDave seeks says:

    ‘m a paranoid fellow, and since pre-9/11, I had always said if I worked in a high rise, I.E., the twin towers, I would either own a parachute or a length of rope and a harness. My theroey was in the off chance there was a fire, I was better off “BASE” jumping than regular jumping, or with the rope, I could repel to the ground, or at least past the “blocked” floors to a clear floor to escape.

    This seems like a good idea, but too much seems to be able to go wrong with this. I am very concerned with the mounting of the line. You don’t want to descend face first, but rather back first.

    • Gunnar Tveiten says:

      True. A regular old climbing rope and harness, and 2 hours of practice, learning how to safely use it, will perform atleast as well. But it might be more expensive than a special-purpose gig, because climbing-ropes are designed to be used hard, over long time while repelling water and dust, and being resitant to knots etc, all functions you don’t need in an emergency-evacuation kind of deal.

      Expect to pay $150 for a 60m climbing-rope. Add $100 for a harness and a rope-brake, and you’re looking at around $250 total investment.

  • Alluvian says:

    So many unanswered questions. Basically, all we have is “look! some egress thingy!”. I wonder why it is rated for 2 tons? Is that just showing off the safety factor or is there really some use to attaching 2 tons of equipment 250 meters in the air?

    Is this thing re-usable? ie, does it rewind itself or do you have a buy a new one once it unwinds?

    • socalboomer says:

      The problem is always that weight rating is not truly relevant for ropes or descending equipment – it should be in newtons (force) since when you are dropping, you generate force. Look at climbing ropes: they’re rated in kN (i.e. New England Equinox 10.2 is rated 9.8 kilonewtons).

      However, since people have no idea what a kilonewton is, weight rating is more approachable. You would DEFINITELY want something that can hold a ton to catch you when you’ve rapidly descended for 100 feet – remember the formula – F=ma so your mass of 180lb times 9.8m/s^2 would be quite a bit by the time you hit the limit of that descender. . .

      If it’s an emergency device, then it wouldn’t be re-usable. It would likely have a braking device in it and would need to be re-set.

  • DeadWriter says:

    There already are devices that do this. On off-shore oil rigs one of the safety devices is a harness with a an orange descender on it. You just climb in, clip it on (or just clip it on) attach it to a decent point and it automatically dispenses “rescue tape”. The unit has one time use flat line that will get you down in hurry, but in a controlled manner. It’s kind of a last ditch safety device, as survival in the ocean is, particularly under an exploding oil rig, is limited.

    I saw a safety video on it along with how to strap into the “life boats” that drop several stories into the water.

    • zippyflounder says:

      yup they work good too, so this is (might) be a consumre version. The reality is verdigo, it will only work for a few as most people just freak out at the idea of “stepping off” from any hight.

  • FREEZhao says:

    wooow,special safe,wait for it

    woow wait for real product

  • Will says:

    This would not have worked for the world trade center. It would lower you right through the flames, ouch.

  • 211 says:

    а нану че американчеги – кирдык? 0_О

Comments are closed.