Innovation for Independence


Picture of Nimble being used to open a ketchup bottle.
Publish date:
12/11/2014 - 2:31pm
Last updated:
12/11/2014 - 2:31pm

Nimble is the world’s first device that allows you to safely and easily cut open awkward packaging with just one finger. Nimble was designed for people with moderate to severe hand disabilities (such as rheumatoid arthritis) who have reduced grip strength, dexterity and/ or co-ordination and so struggle to open many types of packaging by hand. Current solutions include asking a more able-bodied person for help (which reduces independence) or using knives and scissors (which as well as still being difficult is also more dangerous too when suffering from hand disabilities). Nimble’s special flexible design means that it can adapt to fit a wide range of different finger sizes for use with a broad range of hand types. This adaptability also means Nimble can adjust to fingers changing size due to swelling caused by arthritis and other conditions. Nimble will come with a specially designed “docking station” that uses nano-suction material to removably attach to a variety of different surfaces. This docking station will allow quick and easy access to Nimble wherever is most convenient (for example on the side of the fridge) and enable users to put Nimble on and take it off with just one finger.

Insight & Impact

I have spoken with occupational therapists and a focus group of people with various hand disabilities about problems opening packaging as well as sourcing feedback on Nimble itself. The overwhelming feedback was that opening these packaging types is a problem that anyone with a hand disability experiences and that Nimble would make opening packaging independently an easier, safer and less painful experience. The types of packaging brought up during discussion were predominantly everyday items like packs of biscuits or crisps, microwave meals, plastic bags of vegetables, pasta, rice and other loose items, peel-top cartons & bottles and miscellaneous items like toothbrush packaging, vacuum packaging, clamshell packaging and sachets. As opening packaging like this is practically a daily occurrence it is a fair assumption that having Nimble in the household would significantly improve the daily quality of life for many people suffering from hand disabilities. Having also spoken to a large number of people that DON’T suffer from hand disabilities, it is evident that Nimble is not just a product that benefits those less able but something that almost anyone could benefit from owning.

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Pony Access's picture
Neat idea. Should also be useful for art and craft activities at schools and generally. Must be kept secret from biscuit manufacturers or they will make biscuits even more impossible to access. Could tools also be an option? Small spanners, screwdrivers?