Winner of the Design Council Spark Award and a £65,000 investment from charity Versus Arthritis, the Keywing was launched on the 27th March, helping millions with reduced dexterity to open doors and regain independence.
The Keywing is a simple and innovative product that clips onto keys. Once in place, it creates a larger surface area and longer lever, making keys easier to hold, grasp and turn, and locks much easier to open.
The Keywing has been designed by Australian born, London-based designer Geoff Rolandsen. Geoff witnessed his father living with deteriorating dexterity in Australia and the challenges that it brings to his everyday life. Inspired when his father struggled to unlock his shed, and determined to make a difference to his life, Geoff set out to design a beautiful, desirable product that could help restore independence to his father and the 10 million people in the UK who live with arthritis and reduced dexterity.
“It was incredibly frustrating to know that a task as simple as opening the front door, is such a challenge to so many people. It was clear that this would cause distress and could easily lead to unsafe situations” says Rolandsen.
The Keywing design has been tested and refined over the past 18 months with hands on testing undertaken by Versus Arthritis supporters across the UK. It has now launched online at www.theKeywing.com and on Amazon, and a full national retail launch is under discussion.
User testing responses have been incredible, with 90% of people saying it significantly helped them to use their keys with ease, and would make a welcomed difference to their day-to-day lives.
Sarah Odoi, IP development manager at Versus Arthritis, comments:
“There are over 10 million people in the UK living with the pain and fatigue of arthritis. That’s one in six people. Many struggle with everyday activities that we take for granted, like getting dressed in the morning or turning the key in a lock. That’s why products, like the Keywing, are essential in helping people to stay in control of their own lives, without the fear that they can’t unlock the door to their home.
“As a charity we support innovative designers, like Geoff, to make everyday products that not only help people with arthritis to maintain their independence but that are appealing to the eye – many people are put off from using clunky ‘aids’. It’s been fantastic to work with Geoff and the Design Council, and help the idea come to life.”
“I’ve been blown away by the feedback from users saying how this product has made such a difference to their lives,” Rolandsen adds. “Enabling them to leave their house with confidence that they won’t struggle to get back in is very rewarding.”
Reduced hand dexterity has a vast range of causes and is impacting a growing portion of society with research from Versus Arthritis showing that nearly half (44%) of sufferers have difficulty moving around independently.
Dr Anna Lowe, a chartered physiotherapist, believes the Keywing could play a key role in making independent living easier to manage for people with reduced dexterity.
“As a physiotherapist I’ve worked with many people with arthritis and long-term neurological conditions where keys and locks present a challenge because of the manual dexterity and strength required.”
“The Keywing is a neat device and could help to give individuals and their families and carers confidence and peace of mind and could make the difference between someone needing help to get in or out of their own home and being able to do it independently.”
Visit www.theKeywing.com now to see more testimonials of how the Keywing has helped others. Until May 1st, 50 Plus readers can take advantage of a 20% discount and quick dispatch shipping using the code “50Plus20” at the checkout.