PROJECT: AMBIDEXX HAND INTERFACE
new hand interface
The concept behind Ambidexx was the brainchild of entrepreneur Mike Powell. The idea was based on observing that the human hand can operate with extraordinary flexibility and precision, but loses much of that subtlety when gripping an object. The final Ambidexx solution grips the hand whilst working but is easy to remove. It also protects the fingers and can be applied to a multitude of applications ranging from healthcare and beauty to domestic surface cleaning and auto care.
Can be applied to a multitude of applications ranging from healthcare and beauty to domestic surface cleaning and auto care
Ambidexx is entirely unique and the subject of over 30 UK patent applications, brought together in 4 major Patent Convention Treaty applications. The basic form is symmetrical and conforms comfortably with 95% of left and right handed adult males and females. It also reduces fatigue and dramatically improves the efficiency of the applied substrate by keeping it flat and in contact with the target surface.
This has been demonstrated in markets as diverse as surface cleaning to abrasives. The product platform is also genuinely inclusive, enabling users with grip limitations to undertake the same tasks as fully able persons. The XLPE material is chemically inert and non toxic when incinerated; it also very durable and has a long operational life. Measurably less consumables are required when applied with Ambidexx.
Key objectives were to involve potential brand owners and users early and to utilise manufacturing methods that would deliver the product benefits at a price appropriate for the FMCG markets. The strategy was to develop the hand interface element and then create application specific products around it. At all times it was essential
that final products should convey their use easily at point of sale and out-perform all other competitive product solutions. The final solution, as launched by Autoglym into the car care market took about two years to develop.
“In common with so many revolutionary ideas, the concept is very simple and the two devices are extremely intuitive to use. Customers will soon wonder how they ever cleaned cars without them”
PAUL CALLER, CEO AUTOGLYM
Objectives were achieved by an iterative process of design, prototyping /testing and refinement. Four major development phases included a concept demonstrator, followed by material/manufacturing specific solutions that made creative use of existing processes (sometimes used for completely different product applications). Research techniques included user insight and user scenario groups and separate user evaluations conducted by a number of the largest multinational FMCG companies.
The original Ambidexx business model was to license IP but this changed to manufacturing and supply, leading to investment in new materials research and process development. The flexible manufacturing system integrates multi cavity thermoforming of cross linked polyethylene foam with substrate laminating.