Necessity is the mother of invention, as the saying goes. And so has been the case since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although much of the focus on product development and innovation since the pandemic began has been centered around treatment and critical care technologies such as ventilators, some of these pandemic-inspired inventions are designed to help protect against catching the virus that causes COVID-19.
Athough scientists haven’t determined conclusively whether COVID-19 can be contracted by touching infected surfaces, the thought of touching communal surfaces such as door knobs and buttons can still be gross — even in non-pandemic times.
The makers of the Hygienehook have solved this problem with a non-porous, easy-to-sterilize hook for opening, holding, and closing doors. No more need for opening doors with your shirt sleeve, or awkwardly balancing on one foot while holding the door with the other foot!
One of the most effective ways to avoid contracting the virus that causes COVID-19 is to avoid touching your face. Unfortunately, most of us do it, and it’s a difficult habit to break. But the Immutouch Guard smartband can help you get over this bad habit.
A gravimeter inside the band tracks your hand position and alerts you with a vibration every time you touch your face. And as with many bad habits, awareness and immediate feedback can help you stop the habit of touching your face — and help prevent you from contracting the virus that causes COVID-19.
Do Not Touch Your Face
If the idea of wearing a wrist band isn’t appealing, the “Do Not Touch Your Face” website can monitor your face-touching habits — while you’re at your computer, at least — and help you break them.
Using your computer’s webcam, you train a machine-learning algorithm to recognize when you are and aren’t touching your face. Once it’s trained, it watches your movements and alerts you when you’re touching your face. (It’s important to note that all monitoring, calculations, and alerts are handled locally on your computer — no information is transmitted over the internet.)
Soapy Hand-washing Microstation
Another method to avoid contacting the virus is through proper hand washing. One way to do this is by singing a song while washing your hands to ensure you wash for the proper duration. Soapy has taken the standardization of hand-washing one step further, with the invention of the Soapy Hand Hygiene Microstation — a “smart sink” that uses machine vision and IoT technology to ensure that hand washing is done properly, with minimal waste.
Soapy dispenses the optimum amount of soap and water, at the proper temperature, for both effectiveness and efficiency. The machine also provides visual feedback on your progress and indicates whether you’ve followed the prescribed protocol. Some models also include facial recognition, so industries such as food services can monitor employees’ compliance with proper hand hygiene, and managers can receive reports on both individual and group compliance.
Neck gaiters — cloth, mask-type face coverings — have received a bad reputation lately in terms of their ability to protect both you and others from the virus. But the Virustatic Shield isn’t any ordinary neck gaiter (or “snood,” as it’s often referred to in the UK) — it contains an antiviral coating, named Viruferrin.
This coating, along with the gaiter’s base material, forms an anti-viral “shield” that has been confirmed to block, capture, and disable up to 99% of viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Lego Hand Sanitizer Dispenser
Ok, so hand sanitizer dispensers aren’t new inventions, but this one, inspired by the pandemic and made from Legos by primary school students in Taiwan, is pretty cool!
Filed Under: Hack the Crisis: Engineering through COVID-19, Linear Motion Tips