A world of hands-free tech may be just around the corner.

Interesting EngineeringBy Fabienne Lang


© ZeynepOzy/iStock | Coronavirus Boosts Touchless Technology Advancements


If there's one thing the coronavirus outbreak has taught us, it's how to greet each other without any physical contact. We've adapted to touchless greetings by waving, bowing, "air" high-fives, or doing a starjump and a hip wiggle, whatever floats your boat. 
Now the world is seriously looking at spurring on touchless technology. As the virus is known to spread through contact, and there is a word that it may live up to nine days on surfaces, the need for more touchless tech is urgent. 

Don't touch that

Everything from tapping a store's payment system to flushing a toilet is currently feared as it's still unknown how long the coronavirus lives on surfaces like screens, wood, or metal, among other materials.
As the virus keeps spreading, many companies that make hands-free devices and products are seeing an increase in inquiries and demand. 
Some of these companies, like Proxy, a California-based startup, focus on how to enter a secure building through a mobile phone app instead of using cards or tapping in security details. Now the focus has turned to keep a hygienic environment without the need for touching anything, rather than just security. 
Proxy's technology allows users to check in to buildings and doctors' offices by using a Bluetooth signal, without touching any screens or even removing their smartphone from their pockets. 
Other companies such as Kohler, the well-established bathroom and kitchen fixtures maker, have seen an influx of inquiries for touchless taps and "intelligent toilets" that don't require any physical touch. The latter opens and closes automatically, as well as flush thanks to a sensor and timer.
This article was originally published by Interesting Engineering.  
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