It looks like another one of those keychain multi-tools. You know, the kind you can use as a key fob while also driving screws, slicing stuff, and doing all sorts of other functions. Except, the Hygiene Hand is designed for only one thing – that’s to keep you from touching public surfaces with your hands and fingers, so you can further minimize the risk of catching that darn virus that’s been going around.
Designed by a retired NYC paramedic, the contraption is a small metal tool that lets you push elevator buttons, pull on door handles, and grab onto rails on the train. That way, you can still touch things in public while minimizing the danger of coming in contact with viruses and bacteria, making it particularly useful in these uncertain times.
The Hygiene Hand is basically a hook that’s large enough to fit the width of most rails and door handles, allowing you to use it to open and close doors, hold on to hand rails on the stairs, and unhook latches, among a whole host of other things. We’re not sure if the hook is actually wide enough to grab a door knob and twist it, but it should facilitate a good grip for most other types of door handles, making it useful for a whole load of places, from offices and stores to taxis and Ubers.
There’s a finger hole on the end to secure it in your hand the entire time, along with a small hole next to it for fitting onto your keyring. The finger hole should be big enough to fit onto any of a hand’s five fingers, too, allowing you to grab ahold of it in the most comfortable way you can find.
Aside from the hook, the Hygiene Hand also includes a flat stylus tip that you can use to push buttons, type on keypads, and interact with touchscreen displays. That means, you won’t have to touch any public controls with your fingers again, whether it be a bank ATM, a bunch of elevator buttons, or a security keypad in the office entrance. Will not touching public objects with your bare hands actually keep you from contracting colds, flu, and that nasty thing going around nowadays? Probably not, but it will definitely lower the chances of you contracting them, as limiting physical contact is one of the ways to keep your system from catching any of those nasty microscopic buggers.
Construction is a brass composite made up of brass and zinc (70/30), so it can stand up very well in repeated use against the elements. It’s also corrosion-resistant, so the darn thing shouldn’t rust, unless you leave it to rot in a damp corner of the basement for a long, long time. More importantly, though, brass is inherently antimicrobial, allowing it to shrug off bacteria and viruses, so it won’t pick up any infection from the surfaces it touches, making it perfectly safe to use in our currently unsafe world.
A Kickstarter campaign is currently running for the Hygiene Hand. You can reserve a unit for pledges starting at $19.