The Coronavirus epidemic has claimed more than 4,000 lives and infected over 1,14,000 people around the world. As doctors and medical experts struggle to find a cure for COVID-19, a team of entrepreneurs have invented a smart gadget that can help curb the spread of the deadly virus.
Smartband that vibrates when you touch your face
Matthew Toles, Joseph Toles and Justin Ith have designed a smart wristband that vibrates every time the person wearing the device tries to touch his or her face. Along with washing hands, experts have advised the general public to avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth during the global epidemic in order to prevent the virus from entering the body. Many people still, inadvertently, end up touching their face, as demonstrated by this US coronavirus expert.
The solution? A wearable device that helps remind people not to touch their face, keeping them healthy and safe. Through their company, Slightly Robot, Matthew, Joseph and Justin have been making habit awareness bracelets for the last three years to address bad habits such as hair pulling, skin picking and nail-biting. However, when the coronavirus claimed its first victim in Seattle, the trio knew they had to do something about it.
How does it work?
Redesigning their existing inventory, the journey from idea to product launch took only a week and Immutouch was born. The device is equipped with a gravimeter and is calibrated to a smartphone via a designated app which allows it to track a user's hand movements and sensitivity, and vibrates when a hand enters a pre-calibrated position on the face.
Mission to save the world, not to make money
The Immutouch's components are sourced from around the world, and the band is then assembled by the team in Seattle. Retailing at $49.99, the company claims it is aware of concerns about panic buying, pseudoscientific medical claims, and profiteering and breaks down the material and operating costs on its website.
"We're not looking to make money," Ith told Geek Wire. "We are selling each unit nearly at cost, accounting for cost of materials, fabrication, assembly, and handling. We are a small team with limited upfront capital so we have to order components in small batches. Our hope is that as more people show reception to the idea, we can order larger quantities, reduce the price, and make it more accessible."
Slightly Robot is also working on another device that helps detect when an individual is overeating in the form of compulsive snacking and binge eating. The project is currently in the prototype stage and the team will start alpha testing the product within a month's time.