Google unzips homepage for inventive doodle

Google's Doodle for the day turns the front page of the search engine into a rather fun zipper, in honour of the man who invented the more-difficult-than-thought device.

Google celebrates another day with a front-page doodle, this time in celebration of Gideon Sundback, who invented and perfected the zipper --- or the "zip", on the European side of the Atlantic.

Sundback, born in Sweden on this day in 1880, moved to the United States and went on to develop the "Hookless Fastener No. 2", which we know as the humble jeans and dress fastener. Suffice to say, it's a good job the marketing department got there in time, otherwise forever we would be "hookless fastening" our clothes together.

But something so simple as the zipper caused headaches for those who wanted to perfect the device. Other designs had made it so far but were not without their own problems. Sundback nailed it by adding a small dimple on the bottom and a nib on the top of each tooth to allow each nib to slot into the dimple of the next tooth. It kept the whole thing together, and has a much lower failure rate than any other design at the time.

Over a century later, the small, metal gadget remains one of the simplest yet effective gadgets we know of, and is one of the few things in this world that can't be hacked into or have data pulled out of it.

On Monday, Google celebrated another "doodle", the name of its front-page art that shifts away from the traditional Google logo to bring a bit of change and delight into the lives of many.

The ZX Spectrum turned 30 years old, combined with St. George's Day, with the famous dragon slaying knight being England's patron saint. In the 8-bit tribute, a pixelated Google logo displays across the top with the two nemesis' battling it out in an array of fauvist colours.

CNET UK had a sit down with ZDNet UK editor Rupert Goodwins, who worked at Sinclair, the company that developed the console. You can read more here.

Frankly, if it wasn't for Google, many of these humble figures and products may slip through cracks of time without a second thought.

Image credit: Google/ZDNet.