This wearable vibrates every time you touch your face

A Seattle-based company has designed a smart-band that vibrates whenever you bring your hand close to your eyes, nose and mouth.

Essential readingTop fitness trackers and health gadgets

The coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic is increasing by the day. Currently, there are nearly 400,000 cases registered globally with Europe and the US now as the centre of the pandemic. CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) has issued clear guidelines on how to protect yourself. The instructions are all the more important for older folks and those with existing conditions as they are more susceptible to the desease.

One of the guidelines is that you should avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Once contaminated, hands can easily transfer the virus via facial mucous membranes. All it takes is a few few virus particles to cause a viral respiratory infection.

But that’s easier said that done considering the average person touches their face 23 times per hour (APIC estimates). Simple math shows this is more than 500 times per day!

Immutouch is a wearable designed to help you break this habit. It counts the number of times you touch your face during the day and, more importantly, it vibrates each time you do this. This is meant to alert you and over time train you to stop doing this.

This is something akin to the Pavlovian theory. Creating a new conditioned response by use of a stimulus.

this wearable vibrates every time you touch your face 1024x386 - This wearable vibrates every time you touch your face

The smart-band uses a gravimeter to track your hand position in real time. Prior to use you are meant to calibrate the thing by touching your lips, nose and both eyes. This helps personalise the hand-tracking algorithms.

One band is probably not enough as you are just as likely to touch your face with the non-dominant hand. To this end, the smartphone app can be paired with two bands at the same time.

Immutouch can keep going about a day between charges. It is water-resistant so you can wash your hands as much as possible. The band doesn’t do anything else so if you are looking for a step or fitness tracker, a Fitbit or Garmin is still the way to go.

“A problem the size of COVID-19 requires everyone to do their part, large or small”, said one of the founders Matthew Toles.

“The three of us happened to be uniquely well equipped to tackle this one task and felt it was our duty to at least try”.

Each band costs $49.99 and can be ordered from Immutouch. Demand is high so those that purchase may need to wait a couple of weeks for delivery.

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