The Progressive 6-in-1 Multi Opener is a neat tool designed to open six different types of packages. The photos tell you all you need to know about it, but beyond its obvious utility, it caught my eye because of what it says about package design.
If you're young, healthy and have a good grip, you can open the things pictured here with your bare hands (except for the bottle cap). If you've got arthritis, these package designs that are so easy for others to open can become annoying obstacles. Right now it either doesn't make economic sense for companies to design packaging that anyone can open, or the companies just don't care.
I've always thought of hand tools as things we need to manipulate and shape materials or drive fasteners. But now we have tools like this one, or cutters specifically designed to open clamshell packaging. I find this latter category of tools interesting because they're essentially a design success whose sole purpose is to rectify certain design failures. With all the hype about rapidly greying populations and the Baby Boomer influence, I thought we'd start seeing a massive shift towards more easy-to-open packaging. But it looks like that's still a ways off.
Ironically, look at how the Multi Opener itself is packaged. You'll need a pair of snips to cut those plastic ties.