A Chicago company has created a key for the ultimate germaphobe during the pandemic.

The CleanKey device, an antimicrobial brass alloy device, touts in its sales pitch that people can use the square tip of the key — which measures 6 mm x 10 mm — to avoid touching surfaces such as touch screens and elevator buttons and the design makes it easy to open doors and pull levers.

“We were thinking more about personal protective equipment and we thought about what tools could do simple things, like open doors,” said Andrew Bedell of KeySmart, the company that produces CleanKey and that launched after a $350,000 Kickstarter in 2013.

“We came up with our own design and a premium tool and we were able to get a prototype made. We launched it a week and a half ago and it blew up. We’ve sold over 50,000 globally. The U.S. is our biggest market and Canada is probably number two.”

The concept was sprung off another of its products, the Nano Stylus, which is the size of a pocket laser pointer and can act as a barrier between fingers and a touch surface.

The company claims the CleanKey copper alloy kills up to 99% of bacteria and is easy to carry on a retractable carabiner. However “it does not necessarily prevent cross-contamination.”

“We’re not advocating that you don’t wear masks and you should still wash your hands,” said Bedell. “Every reduction in contact helps.”

A notice in a New York elevator asks users to press buttons using keys rather than fingers.


Bedell said in New York City, one of the hardest-hit areas in the U.S. for COVID-19, there are signs in some buildings asking people to push the elevator buttons with their keys in order to prevent further spread of the virus.

The CleanKey costs about $35 ($25 USD), but some health experts are skeptical of such products.

“Essentially, you’re using a metal object to touch things and open things that could have virus on them and as soon as you do that, the virus is on the key,” said Dr. David White, a family physician and Faculty of Medicine professor at the University of Toronto.

“It’s better to wash your hands. I suppose the point of it is it’s a smaller surface and it’s not transferring directly to your hands,” he said. “But your hands are on it, so I found it quite humourous. I think it’s another opportunity for people to spend their money on something that actually won’t prevent (you getting the virus) that much.”


Source link




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here