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Get a grip

Pickle jars have always been the wrong shape, and we never knew it

Struggling to open a jar is one of life’s more ridiculous indignities. But for people who are elderly or disabled, the ordeal can be a real and daily frustration. Why can’t jars be just a little easier to open?

To address this commonplace failure of ergonomic design, researchers in Japan, where 40% of the population will be over 65 by the year 2060, have developed a new shape for glass jars that they say allows older people to open them with ease. They’ve replaced the standard round tube of the jar’s body with a rounded parallelogram cross-section, giving hands an easier shape to grip. Hakuyo Glass plans to use the new design to fashion jars for jam and other food.

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Noriko Hashida’s new bottle design, via Nikkei Technology

No word yet on whether a parallelepiped jar will prove more or less difficult for an octopus to escape from than a standard jar.

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