Facepalm: Covid-19 has affected many elements of our lives, including how we interact with everyday objects. With the virus able to live on surfaces for up to 72 hours, sales of keychains that can be used in place of fingers have rocketed—but it seems some devices weren’t designed for such things, including Ring doorbells.
You’ve probably seen ads for products such as Hygiene Hand recently. Described as antimicrobial door openers/button-pressers/stylus, they can be used for finger-based tasks that could spread Covid-19, including signing/touching screens, hitting ATM keys, opening doors, and pushing physical buttons.
While these tools work well when calling elevators and the like, it seems they might be a bit too robust for Ring doorbells. ZDNet’s Adrian Kingsley-Hughes writes that reports of smart doorbells being broken by various door openers are surfacing. He discovered one Ring bell that was left with a hole after someone appears to have pushed a door opener into it with a bit too much gusto.
If the Ring doorbell in this instance isn’t already broken, it’s unlikely to last long once rainwater gets inside.
Smart doorbells were designed for fleshy digits rather than tough metal, of course. Thankfully, makers are said to be replacing any that are smashed by the tools. The obvious solution, of course, is not to ram a piece of metal into the devices like you’re trying to punch through a wall.