Last week I was exhibiting at a tradeshow.
“With Geco Hub?” You ask.
Not this time actually.
I was there with Version 22's new, very exciting and very different product… Nimble!
So what's Nimble?
Nimble is the world's first packaging opener that can be used with just one finger!
That's it. Simple or what!
Okay I'll elaborate. Nimble fits on any finger rather like a thimble – hence the name – and has a very small, very sharp and yet very safe, blade. This blade allows you to quickly, easily and safely open food and drink packaging with just a swipe of one finger, with no chance of cutting yourself in the process.
Pretty cool hey? But what does this mean?
This means no more stabbing microwave meals with knives, no more hacking at bags of nuts with scissors, no more tugging at packs of sweets with your teeth and NO exploding bags of pasta in the kitchen!
That's not all though, Nimble is also a great parcel opener, letter opener and present-wrapping assistant too!
But most importantly, Nimble is inclusive – it's for everyone.
Though awkward packaging annoys everyone, the people that struggle most with plastic food and drink packaging are disabled people. Particularly people with disabilities that inhibit or reduce hand mobility, co-ordination and/ or strength. In fact, many struggle to the point that they can't open food packaging unassisted at all. This can have a serious negative impact on their level of independence when preparing food at home and on the go.
With that in mind Version 22 is taking part in the Inclusive Technology Prize run by Nesta, in partnership with Leonard Cheshire Disability, and with support from the Department for Work and Pensions, Innovate UK, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and Irwin Mitchell to continue development of Nimble and bring a thoroughly tested version of it to market
To date Nimble has been used by hundreds of people to open difficult packaging, and in many cases has allowed people to open packaging that they hadn't been able to open themselves before!
Excited yet? I hope you are.
Anyway now I've described Nimble perhaps it's time to show you a prototype pic. Here's a sneak peek…
An early Nimble prototype… in pink! (Well coral actually)
Now where were we?
Oh that's right, I was talking about a trade show.
The trade show I was exhibiting Nimble at was Naidex. One of the largest, if not the largest disability trade shows in the UK. I was there sharing a stand with Equipable with a small patch of exhibitor space to call my own, a hand-full of prototypes, hundreds of packs of Haribo and sporting a bright “atoll blue” Nimble T-Shirt…
My Nimble t-shirt
We got there late Monday afternoon to setup before the show started on Tuesday. Over the three days at Naidex that followed I was blown away by the excitement around Nimble and the enthusiasm people had when they spoke to about it. It was astonishing how quickly word-of-mouth spread too! After 3 exhilarating and exhausting days talking to hundreds upon hundreds of people, over 200 people had tested Nimble on bags of sweets and over 120 people had signed up to be Nimble product testers. The response was so far above what I expected I practically ran out of sweets having bought a ridiculous 5kg of Haribo in preparation and I had to print out emergency extra sign-up forms!
It's safe to say that Nimble was a success at Naidex: among other goings-on we were approached by the editor of a national magazine to be in a feature this summer; I was asked to do not one but three different video interviews about Nimble, and I spoke to at least ten businesses interested in selling Nimble to those that need one when it launches!
So what next?
Well I'm currently in the running for the Inclusive Technology Prize (run by Nesta) with Nimble and if I get through to the next stage should get enough prize money to make Nimble a reality this year! Over the following two months I will be carrying out in-depth product testing with volunteers from all over the UK and getting a small production run underway.
Staying in the loop
I know that's a lot to take in but this is just the beginning! Things are going to be moving pretty fast with Nimble over the next few months so to ensure you keep up to date with Nimble sign-up to get the news as it happens below.