If you find packaging tiresome, troublesome or just difficult, Ian Macrae thinks he may have found an answer.
People old enough or retro enough to remember or still be buying CDs and DVDs will also be aware of the irritation packaging can bring. Shrink-wrap that’s been shrunk tighter and more clinging than a soaked pair of Levi jeans and absent or difficult to find tabs all contribute to the mounting sense of frustration at musical pleasure and gratification deferred.
But for people with dexterity or other issues with their hands, over-enthusiastic packaging can mean not being able to open an item independently at all. And with the ever-increasing volume of stuff being delivered by courier or post, it’s a problem which can only be growing.
But then, every now and then something small and simple comes to market providing an unexpected solution to a problem not many people would think even existed. This was just the case with Nimble.
It’s a little yellow silicon thimble about three centimetres high which is just big enough to fit on to the end of your finger. On its top edge is a strip of black plastic.
Embedded in the plastic is a tiny ceramic blade which forms a little nick or notch designed to be sharp enough to cut through packaging tape or the dreaded shrink-wrap but not sharp enough to accidentally or deliberately damage human skin so that cutting yourself with it must be pretty nigh impossible.
When your peskily wrapped package arrives, you slide the Nimble onto the end of an index finger, slide it along the tape to tear it away and open the package.
My teenage son had a new gaming chair for his birthday and needless to say he was very anxious to get it open and try it out. He reached for the Nimble and was into that package with alacrity.
It’s not one of life’s major problems, but, as a blind person, one of the things I find difficult is locating the little tab that is supposed to open the cellophane on a box of my chosen brand of teabags. Usually there follows a couple of minutes of scratching and scrabbling before, in frustration, I ask a sighted family member to find it for me.
Not this time though. One sweep with the Nimble and that cellophane was off in no time.
A slightly more disastrous result was achieved when I attempted to remove the shrink-wrap from the DVD box set of season 6 of The Sopranos. Unfortunately the little yellow devil cut not only through the shrink-wrap but also through the plastic carrying the pictures and graphics for the series. I was glad not to have to answer to Tony Soprano for that error. But the man who came up with the idea told me that I should have attacked the shrink-wrap at the edges where it is more vulnerable and where there’s no underlying plastic.
The Nimble is easy to fit and its bright yellow colour makes it easy to find even for someone with my greatly reduced amount of sight. It also has a distinctive ridged shape which makes it easy to identify by touch.