Yamaha is a brand that evokes two different images depending on who you ask. Some might know it best for its musical instruments and audio equipment, while motorists might be more familiar with its motorcycles. Although they seem to have nothing in common other than their name, they do share a common passion for well-designed products. There are many when the two companies come together to put pool their creative minds and come up with designs that showcase their shared passions and visions. This hand grip concept is one such example, combining expertise in musical instruments and metalwork to create an odd-looking hand exercising tool that you might wish you could buy someday.
Designer: Yamaha Design Laboratory
A hand gripper is definitely an odd choice for a product from both Yamaha companies, even if it’s just a concept. Then again, whether you’re playing musical instruments or driving a motorcycle, you need to have dexterous hands. Regularly exercising them is one way of maintaining or building up hand and wrist strength, and hand grips like these are one of the most common ways to do that.
Of course, “The Gripper” is clearly not your typical hand grip. The most common hand grips are just two plastic or padded grips with a coiled metal in between for resistance, though there are more sophisticated ones that use buttons with springs for each finger. Yamaha Design Lab’s concept mixes these two types together in a rather eccentric way that makes The Gripper look more like a musical instrument than a tool.
There is a typical palm grip, though it is made of natural sculpted wood that gives it a warm and soft touch in contrast to plastic or rubber. It contrasts with the cold metal pipes that make up the actual grip that branches out into five different paths, one for each finger, including the thumb. Rather than simple buttons, however, each “key” is a concave metal disc that lets your finger rest on it securely without fear of slipping off. This gives the finger grips an unusual aesthetic that makes them look like the same keys on a saxophone or trumpet. In fact, you can operate each key separately like on those instruments, letting you move and exercise each finger differently.
There is also a mechanism that lets you adjust the length of each pipe to accommodate different finger lengths. This rather unusual design helps increase the tension for better exercise while also offering a unique feeling of delicate manipulation for every finger. In other words, it creates a whole new experience that provides stress relief and exercise in an aesthetically pleasing and interesting package. Unfortunately, The Gripper is fated to remain a concept unless Yamaha changes its mind after receiving strong demand for such a quirky design.