Good Old Nordic Ingenuity: Hands-Free Door Opener

The clever and innovative folks at TBWA\Helsinki have come up with a device to help flatten the curve.

It’s a device that can be attached to existing handles enabling people to open doors and cabinets with an arm instead of a hand, thus reducing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Added bonus: it’s made of recycled plastic.

It’s amazing what humans can think up when a crisis forces them into a corner, isn’t it?

The agency worked with a company called Fortum, said to be the largest manufacturer of recycled plastic in the Nordics. The new product is called the Fortum Vipu — short for virus prevention unit.

The agency, one of the innovation hubs in the TBWA network, came up with the idea, designed the prototype and 3D printed the first pilot versions in-house. It took all of five weeks. Check out this video for a glimpse of how it works.

The project is being tested with Finland retail giant S-group to gather user experience data in order to refine the product further. In a few weeks, if all goes according to plan, Fortum will expand production for broader distribution.



That could be a real game changer, now and in the post-pandemic world.

Of course, that’s what the agency’s in-house innovation lab, set up a couple of years ago, is designed for. As Juhana Hokkanen, the agency’s innovation director, puts it: “Our clients expect more than just advertising from us.”



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