Here are seven gadgets that were either invented recently or garnered a little more attention due to their new relevance to Covid-19 life.
Name: Donut Robotics
Product: ‘Smart Masks’
Year Founded: 2016
Founders: Taisuke Ono (CEO)
It was only a matter of time before someone would add the face mask into the Internet of Things. Donut Robotics has developed an internet-connected smart mask capable of transmitting voice commands from Japanese into eight different languages. The device connects to a smartphone via bluetooth and acts as an extension to the telephone, helping transcribe speech, make calls, or clarify speech. The masks will be available from September and are selling for $40 each.
Product: Smartband that buzzes when a hand is too close to a face
Year Founded: 2020
Founders: Joseph Toles, Matthew Toles, Justin Ith
Brothers Joseph and Matthew Toles, along with their friend Justin Ith, already had the algorithm that would help them develop a prevention tool for face-touching. The original wristband was designed to reduce skin-picking and nail-biting during stressful events. After Covid-19 broke out, they pivoted their hardware and software to create Immutouch – a band that stops you from touching your face and spreading germs.
Product: Next-gen AI solutions for thermal temperature and risk detection through vision
Year Founded: 2018
Founders: Albert Stepanyan
Scylla Technologies Inc. uses artificial intelligence to monitor real-time video streams and predict violent or dangerous behavior. Originally created for security or surveillance companies, Scylla is pivoting and helping companies monitor temperature levels and potential Covid-19 cases in public areas. The service can be used in hospitals, airports, corporate offices, or malls.
Name: ‘hyginehook’ by Draft Design Build (DDB)
Product: A small portable hook capable of opening doors
Year Founded: 2002
Founders: Steve Brooks
Sometimes, the simplest devices can produce the best solutions. Steve Brooks, Founder and Co-owner of the British furniture company DDB decided he was done with touching door handles in the age of Covid-19. He started to produce hyginehook, a small hook that can open doors without the need to physically touch them. It can fit in a pocket and is made from non-porous material, making it easy to clean each day.
Product: Virustatic Shield
Year Founded: 2020
Founders: John Butcher (Operations Director)
UK-based biotech firm Virustatic recently announced a brand new ‘Virustatic Shield’ snood, providing antiviral protection against Covid-19. The face mask is covered in the Viruferrin protein compound, which is seen to inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 strain, thus acting as an immediate antibody against Covid-19. According to Virustatic, it has 50 times as many wears as a single-use mask and builds on 10 years of work by UK biochemists and virologists.
Product: Table top vegetable and fruit purifier
Year Founded: 1999
Founders: Mahesh Gupta
KENT has produced a device that sits comfortably in your kitchen, all while making your food safe to eat. The ‘Tabletop Vegetable and Fruit Disinfectant’ device has a chemical-free ozone technology that disinfects food by removing the pesticides or chemicals found on them during their transit. It can remove any virus or amounts of bacteria that might be transferred through hand touching and makes food safer to eat when at home.
Product: Self-cleaning water bottle
Year Founded: 2017
Founders: Justin Wang
LARQ, Inc. has been around for a few years but has suddenly seen its moment in the Covid-19 pandemic. The Larq self-cleaning water bottle can neutralize 99.99% of harmful odor-causing bacteria using its UV-C light. In just 60 seconds, users can click a button on the side of the device and it works its magic. It can also self-activate every two hours to make sure your water remains clean and odor-free.