This brass keychain is a clever way to minimize risks when opening doors or operating touch screens.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused our interaction with the world to be compromised: every precaution is little to avoid infection and a small paramedical products company called StatGear has created a product that wants to minimize the risks of contagion.
This is Hygiene Hand, a keychain made of brass that minimizes contact with "shared surfaces". Thanks to its design it is possible to use it as a substitute for the finger on shared touch surfaces (ATMs, elevator buttons) and also by the hand when opening some types of doors.
Brass helps, a lot
The idea is simple: to have a tool that allows us to use all those tactile mechanisms, minimizing the possibility of contagion through those surfaces.
This is where the design of this key ring is relevant, but also the material from which it is made, brass, which has a notable peculiarity: it is inherently antimicrobial, which allows bacteria to not survive on said surface. This material is an alloy of copper - which for years was used in a massive way in hospitals precisely for that property - and zinc, and it is an interesting choice for such a product.
The creator of the Hygiene Hand has started a campaign on Kickstarter that has generated notable interest: more than 11,000 sponsors have already contributed close to $ 600,000 to order these key rings, which cost $ 21 and will theoretically begin shipping in May and June of this year.
As its creator explains, with this product it is not intended to guarantee that there is no possibility of contagion, but simply to minimize contact with surfaces that many people touch and therefore could be a source of contagion. Still they warn that it is appropriate to clean the keychain after using it as soon as possible and that both social distancing and washing hands are often measures that are still essential to avoid further risks.
The idea is unique, but once again the fact that it is carried out through Kickstarter raises doubts about its future execution: taking into account the problems of production and transport of goods worldwide due to the coronavirus, it is not easy to guarantee that the delivery periods will be met, and in fact that is something that has affected many Kickstarter projects in the past.
Long live the door opener hooks (and bottle openers)
Some more projects of this type have in fact emerged in recent weeks. The Virus Hook keychain-hook, also funded by Kickstarter, is even thought of as a bottle opener and is made of 100% copper, for example.
Ideas to avoid contact with shared surfaces has also sparked a series of creations ready to be 3D printed. That means that the plastic materials do not offer the same guarantees as those other solutions, but they offer curious alternatives to open the doors with hooks such as the so-called "The Distancer", which is also intended for workers with their credit card.
There are many hook-type designs that use a format very similar to Hygiene Hand or with additional elements that allow them to be operated with the sleeve of a shirt or jersey and not directly with the hands, for example.
At Thingiverse there is a whole collection of "door openers" with different designs that allow anyone with a 3D printer to access these small tools that, we insist, minimize the risk, but do not eliminate it. In fact, being made of the plastics used in these printers, they do not provide that additional element that copper and brass provide in the aforementioned projects.