Keywing image

Winner of the Design Council Spark Award and a £65,000 investment from charity Versus Arthritis, the Keywing is a new product from Dext that aims to help millions with reduced dexterity to open doors and regain independence.

Retailing from £4.99, 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 easier to open.

It was designed by Australian born, London-based designer Geoff Rolandsen.

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Geoff witnessed his father living with deteriorating dexterity and the challenges that it brought to his everyday life. Inspired when his father struggled to unlock his shed, Geoff set out to design a beautiful product that could help restore his father’s independence 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” said Geoff.

The Keywing design has been tested and refined over the past 18 months by Versus Arthritis supporters across the UK. The product launched on the Keywing website and on Amazon; a full national retail launch is currently under discussion.

90 percent of users who tested the product said that 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, commented: “There 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 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.”

Geoff added that he has been overwhelmed with feedback from users who have said how Keywing has changed their lives.

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 of sufferers have difficulty moving around independently. Pain and difficulty undertaking daily tasks, such as locking and unlocking doors, is a key contributing factor to this worrying statistic.

Feedback has also shown that Keywing can positively impact the 17 million people who live with a musculoskeletal condition in the UK and those with deteriorating hand strength caused by ageing.

The Keywing is eligible for VAT relief to qualifying customers and charities.

Dext was established to create a range of innovative products that ease everyday activities. Its brand ambition is to continue creating attractive, everyday products that aid and simplify daily tasks, while disrupting the “extremely dated” mobility aid industry – starting with the Keywing.

Versus Arthritis came to life in September 2018 as a result of the merger of two of UK’s largest arthritis charities – Arthritis Research UK and Arthritis Care.

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