The ProGrip™... Learning from Bartender Injury to Help Others

November 13, 2014 2 Comments

Innovation is the spinning core which centers the Über™ world, powering ideas such as our ProGrip™ handle; a solution for eliminating bartender injury, muddling drinks.

The ProGrip™ illustrates how in the space of 10 years, human centered design is now entrenched in the workplace; critical to improving working lives!

When the ProGrip™ was conceived, we hadn’t understood that bartenders weren't alone in pain... baristas, chefs, handymen, the elderly had their own painful stories of discomfort and frustration!

Unfortunately, we never heard these sounds, they were drowned out by the noise of complacency assuring us: “oh, that’s the way it’s always been, so don’t worry about that!”

Deflated, we retreated to our cone of silence, to create space for our eventual Ü(reka) moment.

Funnily enough the story unfolded by accident, in my mother’s kitchen... in between deeply breathing sautéing onions smells with the aromas of simmering fresh herbs.

In the days and months that drifted by… glimpses and insights revealed hidden paths felled by questions asked… you know the type of thoughts, no one thinks about, unless of course, you can’t perform that task at all!

Sam and l began to look at a gazillion hand tools, understanding the design with arising mandated motions… rotation (stirring) and compression (pounding) and directional (extension) movements; each action impacting on speed, efficiency and most importantly the body: fingers, hands, wrists, elbows and shoulders; depending on task. 

In many instances the unifying single task implied by all tool design: the user must form a fist to hold or grip the tool!

The ProGrip™’s unique handle alters a relevant tools center of engagement, transforming a vicelike grip into one anchored by a thumb via an insertion point (hole in the handle)... the arising engagement between user and tool thereby changes, with the body’s natural response conforming to a relaxed state (less tension).

Once the relationship of user/tool changes, then so does the relationship of the body to that tool.

The ProGrip™ Relationship

A fantastic example of this is watching a barista holding a tamper (THE COFFEE MUDDLER).

A tamper is squat and cumbersome, contorting a user’s fingers, hands and wrist into prolonged and very uncomfortable positions... the result, huge issues of RSI affecting wrist, elbow and shoulder. Go talk to any barista... they all know someone who has a problem if it’s not themselves!

Changing focus from hand grip to that of a thumb pivot alters grip strength, muscular stresses, wrist position/angle relative to the hand, body and tool.

During 2015 Uber™ will be undertaking more human centred design research to allow us to re-imagine a sway of tools whose times has come!

Who would have thought observing bartenders suffer whilst muddling drinks… would lead to something good!

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2 Responses


May 07, 2015

I agree worm castings are great I also use a mraune tea it makes a lighter fertilizer that your plants can utilize quickly and you can use almost any kind of mraune even green mraune. Put a shovel full into a burlap bag and drop it in a trash can. then fill the can with water. I use a plastic coffee can to dip it into my watering can if it looks too dark (depending on the kind of mraune you use) you can fill the watering can half way and cut it again with water. Do this every week or so depending on how close to harvest you are (tapering off nearer to harvest time) Was this answer helpful?


March 27, 2015

As a former gnictees student with severe food allergies in the family, I am quite interested in the food labelling discussion, and I don’t entirely agree with your point of view.I can concede the point that, given alternatives, consumers may choose to buy those. However, I think that statement may be based on a faulty assumption. Non-GMO alternatives are few and far between and, at least where I live in Northern Canada, one would have to eliminate entire food groups if only purchasing non-GMO foods.However, the question remains, does a consumer have a right to know what they are purchasing? Whether scientists agree that GMO foods are dangerous or not, food has the potential to impact health. Because there is not scientific consensus, individuals have the right and, in fact, the obligation to choose for themselves. So the answer is a resounding yes, GMO and non-GMO foods alike should be labelled.Your argument is a valid response to the banning GMO foods. One could certainly argue that, given the lack of scientific consensus proving the danger of GMO foods, they should be present on the marketplace. But the consumers DO have a right to make an informed decision. That is another argument entirely.You’re talking about distinguishing between 2 different rights. The first is food safety, which is ensured at one level. The second is the right as consumers, we have a right to know what we are consuming. This is also a right. It may be a matter of health, safety, environment, or personal choice. That’s not really the point. The point is that we get to make an informed choice.

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