We at Holmes Mann love to applaud innovation and creative ideas, no matter how big or small. Here’s a wonderful story that merits a mention as it’s all about problem solving.
University graduate Simon Lyons has come up with a product to solve problems some consumers have when trying to open tricky packaging.
Whilst many packaging experts continue to focus on developing products that combine functionality with ease of use for consumers, 26-year-old Mr Lyons has come up with a small device that could help members of the public, particularly the elderly and those with lesser motor skills, open all sorts of different kinds of packaging with little more than a swipe of their finger.
The invention has been called Nimble, and users wear it on the end of one of their fingers. The device features a safety-blade design which claims to offer effective cutting potential without the worry of injury.
Mr Lyons graduated from Loughborough University in 2013 with a product design engineering degree. He now runs his Version 22 business from the Loughborough Design School.
The Nimble idea originally came about in 2012, when Mr Lyons entered a Bath University competition. The idea was aimed as a solution to one of the common problems older people face in the home and, in particular, in their kitchens: the opening of drink and food packaging.
Mr Lyons designed the Nimble and a prototype was created, but the invention was then temporarily sidelined in favour of other projects. The start of 2015, however, saw Mr Lyons return to the Nimble idea, and he says that after showing off the gadget at three UK trade shows and one German event, the invention had received a positive response.
The Nimble product has already gone on sale across the world, including in Britain, Australia, Germany and New Zealand. Nimble was trialled in British Home Stores shops over the Christmas period, and the company is said to be interested in stocking the device once Mr Lyons’ Version 22 company is able to cope with producing high quantities of the product.
The Nimble device has reached the last ten in the Inclusive Technology Prize competition – an event aimed at inspiring product improvements and better systems, technologies and ideas to aid people in Britain living with disabilities or long-term illnesses.
The top 25 entries in the prize competition were awarded £2,000 to help with the development of the concept, and those in the top ten were given £10,000 for customer testing and feedback retrieval and to produce a prototype and final business plan.
The winner of this year’s Inclusive Technology Prize will be revealed in March. If it achieves a win, Version 22 will be awarded £50,000 to facilitate the scaling-up of production and business extension.