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The mother of the invention: a new gadget dreamed of fighting the coronavirus


LONDON / AUCKLAND / BUCHAREST (Reuters)-Last week, designer Steve Brooks, who was driving to work at a factory in West London, was thinking about the coronavirus. How can you open the door without touching the handle?

Entrepreneurs Matthew Toles and Joseph Joseph Toles, co-founders of Slightly Robot, describe a smart band that prevents a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) by making a noise when the wearer’s hand approaches the face , Immutouch has been released in Seattle, USA. A photograph of this handout taken March 31, 2020. Immutouch by REUTERS / Handout

“Everyone must use their little finger or find the end of the door that no one touched,” said the designer and owner of DDB Ltd, a company that produces office furniture. So he made a hook to do the job.

So-called sanitary hooks are small enough to fit in your pocket and made of non-porous material, making them easy to clean. This is one of hundreds of gadgets conceived in recent days and weeks to help prevent people from spreading the coronavirus.

Companies from around the world, from furniture manufacturers to AI software developers, adopt existing products or develop new products to help fight the pandemic, work at home or hospital, quarantine stations Make life easier for people working in

The wave of innovation is Ford (F.N) And Airbus (AIR.PA) Luxury goods giant LVMH (LVMH.PA) Convert plants to make important equipment such as hand sanitizers, ventilators and masks

Within years, such a large company had a financially influential factory and was usually trusted to quickly move from prototype design to product manufacturing.

But the key difference today is that 3D printing and high-tech software allow companies of all sizes to manufacture devices faster than ever.

“Definitely, there are a lot of people willing to get 3D resources,” said MacKenzie Brown, founder of California-based product design firm CAD Crowd.

Two weeks ago, his company launched a one-month contest of practical devices for navigating the new coronavirus world.

Approximately 65 entries were entered, including a disinfecting spray attached to the wrist, half-gloves for pushing the buttons with fingers, and a device that can open the car door without touching the handle (for taxi users).

As pandemics make people more aware of hygiene, some new products may extend their shelf life beyond the current crisis.

“There was an algorithm”

Startups are renewing their technology.

In Seattle, Joseph and Mastables brothers and their friend Justin Is, who run a young company called Slightly Robot, aim to reduce aggressive skin knobs, nail bites, and pull after college. As a wristband.

When their hometown reported the first fatalities from the virus last month, they adopted that design and created a new smart band, Immutouch, that sounds a buzzer when the wearer’s hand approaches the face.

“There was an algorithm, there was software and hardware, we diverted it for face touch,” said Mastyures in an interview. “We created 350 devices and one website in a week, but now we can get it up and running fast.”

Meanwhile, Romanian robotic software company UiPath has found a way for nurses at Martell Myseli Cordia University Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, to eliminate time-consuming data entry and automate the submission of virus test results. I want to reproduce that at another hospital.

Scylla, a U.S.-based AI company that manufactures gun detection systems for schools and casinos, became aware of the virus when China, the first epicenter of the outbreak, reported its first case three months ago. I turned my eyes.

Reintroduce AI analytics software to measure human forehead temperature and send alerts when fever is detected. Chief Technology Officer Ara Ghazaryan said that capturing images from thermal cameras would allow the software to be used in public buildings such as hospitals and airports and in corporate offices.

According to Gazarian, the government of South American countries has ordered 5,000 licenses of Shira’s systems for public buildings and transportation systems. He refused to name the country.

Two innovations of World War II

Global upheaval often creates new products and innovations.

The current explosion of creativity may ultimately be comparable to what was seen during World War II, when companies, governments and scientists embarked on long-term project outcomes.

The technology used to assist the launch of the rocket eventually connected to the first satellite, sending humans to the moon.

“There is no doubt that inventors come up with hundreds, if not thousands, of new ideas,” said Kane Kramer, co-founder and founder of the British Institute of Inventors. He first came up with the idea of ​​downloading music and data in the late 1970s.

“Everyone is a downed tool, just picking them up to fight the virus. It’s a global war.”

Many companies donate new products or sell them at cost. CAD Crowd contest designs can be downloaded and used for free, for example. However, for some people, extra business could provide a financial cushion as other sources of income evaporate during the pandemic.

Brooks, a DDB designer near London, worked quickly.

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Less than a week after his first design, four different models of the hook were launched this week, selling for less than £ 15 ($ 18.60) each. He has donated all the hooks he sells.

Currently, Brooks is looking creatively at another gadget along a similar line.

“We have already received a request from the National Health Service in Wales to design something to push the door.”

Additional reports by Nadine Simlogik of Berlin. Edited by Pravin Char


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