A screwdriver designed to increase turns

When a product reinvents a tool as basic and time-tested as the screwdriver, it’s worthy of an endcap.

That’s the thinking of Lowe’s and other retailers that are promoting the new Black & Decker GYRO as the “world’s first motion-activated screwdriver.”

Introduced in October, the GYRO 4V MAX Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Screwdriver is expected to play well in the gift-giving season, according to Black & Decker executives. And it is particularly well suited for the video-game generation, they say. In Stanley Black & Decker’s most recent earnings statement, the launch of the Gyro — along with Matrix products — was credited with pushing organic sales up 4%.

“We’re taking a technology people are familiar with using in motion-sensing video games, smartphones and even toy helicopters, and using it in a new and innovative way to create a unique power tool,” said Matt Nestorick, product manager for consumer power tools at Black & Decker.

The tool’s utility is bolstered by variable speed capability — more twist equals more torque — and a built-in LED light. The MSRP is about $40.

A video on the Lowe’s endcap demonstrates the product benefits, which can be summed up simply: 1.) Hold the product; 2.) Turn to the right to activate forward motor; and 3.) Turn to the left to activate reverse motor. An actual gyroscope in the tool knows which way to engage.