Innovation Insights: Hominid X

Fri 27 Oct 2023

We’re highlighting Hominid X this week! On an episode of our Changing What’s Possible podcast, Founder and CEO Thane Hunt shared that he wants

“to help instigate a huge shift in people's collective mindset about assistive technology. That's one of my goals, I think it needs to be less of a rescue mission for people with disabilities and more of a basic matter of human entitlement where some of those humans just happen to have different physical parameters. And I encourage my entire team on a daily basis to try to intuitively believe and accept the fact that there are literally tens of millions of people who can use products like this. It's not a niche field.”

Check out more of what he shared in a Q&A with the global Remarkable team earlier this year. a photo of a young Indian American woman and young white man standing together in front of palm trees at the Remarkable Tech Summit.

What is your startup and who is the target market? 
At Hominid X, we build wearable tools that help people to reclaim the use of their hands.

There are an estimated 200 million people worldwide who can’t move their hands to pick up and hold objects, so tasks like eating, personal hygiene, or holding a phone become difficult or even impossible.

A better solution was needed, so we designed “Fiber”, a wearable grasping tool that competes with robotic solutions at an affordable price point.

How have you engaged end-users in the development of Hominid X?
Our design process is user-centric to ensure that our products solve the right problems.

Our expertise in manufacturing allows us to quickly try out new product ideas and get them into the hands of our testers.

We keep in touch with them and empower them to speak plainly about their product experience. These friends are critical to our design process – they are motivated problem solvers who often find ways to adapt and manage on their own.

What have you achieved since launching? Can you share some customer success stories or an accomplishment that you’re proud of?
Our biggest wins were made by our users!

One was Felix, the world’s (almost) first double-arm transplant recipient, who wanted to relearn how to ride a bike. He uses Fiber to help him hold his bike handles.

Another success was a youth stroke survivor, Megan, who uses our product to help her hold kitchenware. She told us that she loves using Fiber while she makes her cake and macaroons at her new bakery business, Mae’s Bakery in Louisiana

What sets your startup apart from competitors?
We approach assistive product design with a lifestyle mindset, not just a medical one.

Our users are people with hobbies and goals; they are not insurance claims.

We’ve demonstrated speed and accuracy with our design choices, and our team has a unique expertise in rapid manufacturing, grasp-aid technology, and user testing.

We’re updating the game by bringing modern wearable standards to the assistive tech space.

Where do you want your startup to be in 1 month, 1 year, 10 years? What do you need to get there?
In a year, we’ll have more products and a strong user base. As we grow, we’ll develop more ambitious solutions.

In 10 years, we’ll have therapy systems, aids, and clinical seminars, and be the global brand in wearable assistive tools.

The key elements of our approach will be moving fast, taking feedback, and doing amazing design work – all while focusing on giving delight to our users rather than a “better than nothing” solution. We’re excited!

What advice would you give to aspiring disability tech entrepreneurs?
Place a strong emphasis on your product and test it with users, always. Some might downplay the importance of the little details, but be careful. Form is function, so don’t feel bad obsessing a little.

A well-developed and user-centric product will speak for itself. So design like you have fierce competition, even if your design is totally new. Marketing is easier when you get the product right.

Want to learn more about Hominid X? Check out our Disability Tech Talk and Changing What’s Possible episodes with Thane Hunt. You can also follow Hominid X on InstagramFacebook, and LinkedIn.

Thu 11 Apr 2024

In the first part of our newest Science Spotlight blog, learn how scientists can harness electricity to help with movement disorders that sometimes accompany cerebral palsy.

Thu 04 Apr 2024

Check out the final part of Rindi and Soren’s story.