For my Becker Imperial hand, I ordered 5 pieces of Centri‘s PVC glove #130914zz2 (Color Pantone 186C, red) directly from Centri, Sweden. Price for all five gloves including shipping was 566,25 Euro. So after they sent me their offer and I submitted payment, mail was here 5 days later. Really fast for a custom build.
Of course you could ask yourself why anyone would want to wear a red (rather than skin colored) prosthetic hand. Well, there is a long story there, and a long series of tests that went into this (Red Hand / Red Arm series), and also, some more theoretical background on why, exactly and of all colors, it had to be red.
At any rate, this is probably the most aggressive or daring, the most visibly intruding, the most recent and probably the most functional in recent prosthetic hand design. Of course it is extremely functional as all the Red gloves do are ornamenting a Becker hand – which in my view beats competitive products by lengths in terms of weight, appearance, functionality, price and robustness.
Artists and industrial designers have addressed the appearances of prosthetic hands and arms over and over – but as far as I see, none of these have made it into even small series of industrial prosthetic component manufacturers and only a dwindling minority have landed on a dwindling minority of amputees.
I am extremely happy that Centri went along with it. I had asked several manufacturers to comply with specific design requests of mine and so far and quite depressingly, no other one had complied. That is hard to understand as normally, selling more units is better than selling less, and I always offered to pay for any additional cost if any that my customization would have incurred. So on top of being stubborn, we conclude that some other prosthetic component manufacturers also may have to improve their business manners. After all, requesting a transparent or a colored product doesn’t necessarily constitute an indecent offer.
With Centri producing red cosmetic PVC gloves for me as consumer, we now know that
(1) even major prosthetic component manufacturers can fabricate small custom series,
(2) and they can do that at reasonable prices, as well as
(3) reasonably fast and
(4) friendly, and also
(5) they support amputee driven design requests and
(6) sell directly to the customer.
Red was the color I played with for a while (see previous reports in my Red Arm series) and red was the only design a number of friends repeatedly asked me to wear again after I had done so a while back and then changed to other looks. I am more than absolutely delighted on how well that turned out. I had already been a huge fan of the Centri PVC gloves – slippery enough to get in and out of sleeves but good for grips, sturdy enough to survive my rough usage for a while, and good enough in terms of anatomical detail to at least put a bit of smiles on faces. I mean, you have to grin when you see these. With red, however, grin gets a wide smile.
At any rate, here is a first glance on how that came out.