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Cheshire engineer creates product to help glasses wearers solve Covid-19 protection problem
Jag Virdie has applied his engineering knowledge to create the ‘Conker Visor’ to help glasses wearers stay protected.
A glasses-wearer himself, Jag appreciated that the necessary face shields and facemasks needed for Covid-19 protection were proving a difficult to those who wore glasses, who were facing their glasses steaming up and not being able to see properly. In March, when Jag’s business Conker Living wasn’t operating due to the lockdown, he created the Conker Visor which is a lightweight clip that enables wearers to mount it to glasses allowing a face shield to be attached. The universal clips mount to a glasses frame that already fit the user’s face without the need for adjustment.
After getting a few of his friends who were healthcare professionals to try the Conker Visor, Jag made an initial batch of 500 which he donated to staff at Leighton Hospital, his local GP surgery and local care home where it was utilised by staff successfully. After the initial batch was well received, Jag contacted Cheshire and Warrington Growth Hub to find out how to showcase his product to the NHS, knowing that his design was different and more cost-effective than other options available.
Cheshire and Warrington Growth Hub connected Jag to Cheshire and Warrington Health Matters, who helped Jag gain an understanding of the key requirements to be an NHS supplier, the required certification needed and helped him to showcase Conker Visor to members of the NHS supply chain, including Alder Hey Hospital.
On Monday 7th December, the product was launched for wholesale and individual orders, with large orders being made directly through the business. Former host of The Gadget Show, Jason Bradbury, was so impressed by the sample product sent to him that he has agreed to feature in how-to and promotional videos for Conker Visor.
Jag Virdie, founder said: “This was a project I began during the first lockdown, because I wanted to do something to help our frontline workers locally. The support I have received has helped me accelerate the product development process, so that now I am at the stage of applying for a global patent. I’m glad that others saw the potential in the Conker Visor and hope it will be able to help 1000s of glasses wearers stay safe soon.”
Jason Bradbury, former host of The Gadget Show said: “I am impressed at the speed that Jag has managed to create the Conker Visor and has created a solution for the 1000s of glasses wearers who have been struggling with existing masks and shields. As a glasses wearer myself, I have been glad to help testing out and trying the visor.”
Andy Devaney, Director of Business Innovation, Cheshire and Warrington Growth Hub commented: “Throughout this pandemic we have seen many businesses innovate and change. It is great that Jag has managed to apply his skills to help the NHS through this difficult time. We’re proud to have helped Jag access the support he needed to get his product ready to launch and be involved in the NHS supply chain.”
Indi Singh, Commercial Programme Manager at the Innovation Agency, one of the partners in the Cheshire and Warrington Health Matters programme, said the organisation had offered strategic guidance and helped the product secure appropriate product certification.
He said: “It has been a pleasure working with the Growth Hub and Conker to bring solutions to real-life problems in the NHS. Jag’s product will help frontline staff provide better care at a time when it is really needed.”
The Conker Visor website is https://conkervisor.com/
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