Don't touch your face! This vibrating wristband helps keep hands away
Fighting the spread of coronavirus with techBy Rob Thubron 8 comments
In context: We know that washing our hands is key to preventing the spread of the coronavirus, and so is not touching your face. To help with the latter, a company has developed a wristband that vibrates when a wearer's hand goes near their mouth, nose, or eyes.
A startup called Slightly Robot had spent three years creating a wristband designed to address trichotillomania---a disorder in which people are compelled to pull out their hair. It was also created to help other obsessive-compulsive behaviors, such as fingernail biting.
Following the coronavirus outbreak, the band has been redesigned as Immutouch. It features a gravimeter, and after being calibrated with a smartphone, vibrates when your hand comes close to contacting your face. It even has an app that tracks how often you touch the areas.
"A problem the size of COVID-19 requires everyone to do their part, large or small," said Slightly Robot co-founder Matthew Toles. "The three of us happened to be uniquely well equipped to tackle this one task and felt it was our duty to at least try."
Another co-founder, Justin Ith, said: "My father has an autoimmune disease that requires him to take immunosuppressant medication. Being in his late 60's with a compromised immune system, I'm trying my best to keep the communities around him and my family clean and safe."
Remembering to keep our hands away from our face can be difficult; we often find ourselves touching our nose or mouth without even realizing it. Warning devices have proved effective in helping to treat trichotillomania, so Immutouch could be a great way of reminding you to keep your hands down.
Immutouch wristbands are available now for $50. To show it isn't exploiting people's fears of the virus, as many have done, the company breaks down the material and assembly costs on its website.
Image credit: CGN089 via Shutterstock