The World is at war with an invisible enemy, an enemy that is taking lives every day. The COVID-19 crisis has cost millions of jobs around the world, but more importantly it is affecting thousands of people each day. To combat that, Governments around the world are telling people to keep two metres apart, but how do you do that, the answer is with the Gap Cap.
The Gap Cap was invented by Dutch Dynamite founder Nicolette, with cap design by Daniel Öberg from Sweden, Artwork by Cindy Kouwenoord. Dutch Dynamite is a popular salty licorice alcoholic drink in the Netherlands, but like any company around the world, they saw a drop in revenue.
They wanted to make it safe for people to go out again and meet family and friends but while keeping a safe distance. The Gap Cap does just that. The 75 cm Cap, which makes it clear how much distance to keep when 2 people wear it.
It is such a clever idea. The first 2500 people who buy a bottle of Dutch Dynamite in The Netherlands, will receive a Gap Cap for free. Don’t worry, for those people who live in the UK and want one of the most talked about COVID-19 safety tools. The Gap Cap is available In the UK for a small price
We got together with Daniel Oberg who designed the Gap Cap to find out more about the project.
Daniel Oberg, you were contacted by Nicolette, the founder of Dutch Dynamite to design the Gap Cap, what was your first response when you were asked to design it?
I was grateful after reading the brief because this is what I really like to do, develop new products for customers. The idea was fun and useful during the pandemic. My first response to Nicolette was that “it sounds very interesting” and “I want to know more about the project”.
What was the first thing you looked at when designing the Gap Cap?
The first thing I did was check the market if there was a similar solution. Also, how already existing caps can look like. Then I generated concepts using sketches and mock-ups to find new forms on the cap.
The Gap Cap is a 75 cm Cap, why was that size so important?
The length of 75 cm comes from the recommended social distance in the world. The distance between two people should be 1.5 meters. This means that when two people wear the cap, the distance becomes acceptable.
What are the major features of the Gap Cap?
The major features of the Gap Cap are the easy assembly and the stiffness in the cap, so it stays in place even if the cap is very long.
Who decided on the shape of the Gap Cap and why was that so important?
I designed different variants on how the cap can look and showed Nicolette what she liked about the different caps. It turned out that my favourite was also the concept she liked the most. The most important thing in a product development is that both parties must be united, this comes from good communication.
What materials have been used for the Gap Cap and why did you choose those materials?
The Gap Cap is made of cardboard and a strap. The part on the forehead and the long front part is made of cardboard. The cardboard is not expensive, easy to form and very light compared to it stiffness. It is very useful for not letting the front part bend down and the strap can keep the cap in place much easier.
What problems did you come across when designing the Gap Cap?
The very first problem was I had no idea how it could look. Therefore, I did a lot of brainstorming and divided the complex problem into smaller pieces to handle it better. How it can be placed on the head, forms on the front cap part, different functions as how to strap on the cap and what is the most comfortable and best-looking idea?
The dimensioning was also a bit tricky, without the mock-ups (prototypes) it would have been much harder. The mock-ups gave me a more realistic view on how it can look.
The Gap Cap is now widely available and is free for first 2500 people who buy a bottle of Dutch Dynamite in The Netherlands, do you think we can expect to see the Gap Cap becoming the new must have headwear?
I don’t think the Gap Cap is going to be a must headwear. But I think it’s a good start to something very big.
The Gap Cap is aimed to be used for social distancing while socialising, but can it also be used in the workplace to keep social distancing in place?
Yes, the Gap Cap has secondary target groups. I think the idea of using a cap is very good but that it can be developed and become even more useful in other environments for example offices or restaurants.
It is such a clever idea to keep social distancing in place, but is the Gap Cap comfortable to wear?
I haven’t worn the real Gap Cap yet; it should be delivered to me very soon. But I have the prototype at home, and it feels good on the head. The result should feel even better!
Learn more about the Gap Cap here, www.thegapcap.com