When it comes to the Pocket Monkey, a credit card size tool that provides the functionality of a pocketknife, necessity truly was the mother of invention. Nate Barr, a mechanical engineer, created the innovative device after he locked himself out of his apartment one too many times. “I lived in the North end of Boston,” Barr recalls, “and I’d commonly grab my wallet and go out. When I’d get back to my apartment, I’d be reminded that my door locked automatically and I’d forgotten the key.” Because the deadbolt hadn’t been thrown, Barr was able to use a credit card to circumvent the lock, but that action was taking its toll on his card. It was then that Barr thought the solution would be a piece of metal he could keep in his wallet.
From there, Barr embellished the concept of a flat piece of metal by adding multiple functions, and the Pocket Monkey was born. The device has more than 15 features, including both a Phillips head and flathead screwdriver, a micro flathead screwdriver that allows users to turn small screws like those on eyeglasses and battery cover cases, several wrenches, a letter opener, a bottle opener, an orange peeler and more. The product wholesales for $6, and retails for $12. As a bonus, it is TSA compliant so travelers can get through airport security and fly with it.
Demand has been great, Barr remarks, and at the recent New York International Gift Fair, the company took orders for more than 1,000 units. “We’re selling them as fast as we can make them.”
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