NEWS - DECEMBER 2020
there are more and more hands-free products to help limit exposure and make for a cleaner and more germless home.
By Cris pyle
AS I TYPE THIS WITH DRY, CHAPPED HANDS from incessant (and vital) handwashing, one thing that is likely to remain with us for a very long time is a hyper-awareness of the lurking potential of contagions.
There are more and more hands-free products to help limit exposure and make for a cleaner and more germless home and antimicrobial additives are popping up in paint, laminates and fabrics, among others.
The data on how long the novel coronavirus can live on different surfaces updates frequently and there is likely a distinction between how long it can be detected and how long it is infectious. The Centers for Disease Control states that it is less common for COVID-19 to spread from a contaminated surface, but is possible by “touching a surface or object that has virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes.” The best defense continues to be vigilant cleaning of surfaces, as well as hands.
Most of you are by now familiar with touchless faucets in both public spaces and private homes. Kohler has its Response® Technology that prevents cross-contamination (to prevent the dreaded “chicken hands”) by turning on from a hand wave under the faucet. The introduction earlier this year of U by Moen uses voice control for touchless operation, precise liquid measurements, and temperature control. Delta offers touchless technology in bathroom faucets, and most higher-end brands have some version of the technology.
On the other end, so to speak, are touchless toilets that reduce contact by automatically opening, closing and flushing, and offering bidet features of cleansing, heated seats and warm-air drying. Toto pioneered the market with its washlets and toilets and Kohler introduced a new line at the 2020 International Kitchen and Bath Show.
Back to the kitchen, Gaggenau, a German manufacturer of luxury professional-grade appliances, includes an “opening assist” feature in its 400 Series of fridge and freezers. Likely intended for aesthetics, the handleless doors are push-to-open, which today could mean little or no contact with hands and the appliance surfaces.
From touchless trashcans to automated lighting controls, today’s manufacturers are considering technology not only from an ease and aesthetic sense, but also how it can be employed to make our living environments safer from germs in the future. Go touchless.
Cris Pyle has over 15 years of experience in the residential technology industry, leading marketing teams on the manufacturer and association sides.