This Weird Japanese Gadget Detects If You Stink

I like to think that I’m a pretty clean person. I take a shower at least once or twice every day, use deodorant, brush my teeth regularly, and don’t roll around in the trash like Pigpen. But you never know if you smell bad, and just nobody has the heart to tell you. Well, this strange gadget from Japan is supposed to help figure out if you’re malodorous.

Simply place the Tanita ES-100 Handheld Body Smell Checker near an area you’re concerned about, and it will display the amount of stink on a scale from 1 to 10. A reading of 4 to 6 means it can smell something, while a 7 to 10 score indicates strong odors.

Now keep in mind that it doesn’t have a way of knowing if that smell is good or bad, so it could be that you just drowned yourself in too much cologne trying to cover up your stench, or it might mean that you’ve just been baking fresh waffles or chocolate chip cookies. Still, if you score towards the top of the list, you’ve probably gone overboard and it’s time to hose off.

If you’re worried about body odor, you can get the Tanita Body Smell Checker on Amazon for $145. Unfortunately, the current product reviews aren’t very good so maybe you need to buy another device to detect if your gadget stinks.

GoPro turns your Hero 8 Black into a wide-angle webcam

Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, you may not have had the chance to use your fancy new GoPro Hero 8 Black as much as you had planned. The good news is that it can now double as webcam. Following its DSLR and mirrorless counterparts, GoPro has rele...

A Microsoft xCloud Adaptive Controller that brings mobile cloud-gaming to the specially-abled

Something tells me we’re a mere announcement away from Microsoft’s cloud gaming service – Project xCloud, and it only makes sense that when the announcement drops, Microsoft does its bit to make sure everyone has access to it, regardless of their location, and their abilities. The Adaptive Controller concept for xCloud takes Microsoft’s special-needs controller and gives it a couple of tweaks to make it ready for cloud-based mobile gaming. Fundamentally, the xCloud Adaptive Controller is the same as its predecessor, but with a few upgrades that make it mobile-ready, so the specially-abled can reap the benefits of the upcoming Project xCloud!

What’s visibly different about the xCloud Adaptive Controller is its acid-green device-docking station that lets you rest anything from a phone to a tablet (without having it tip over or slip, thanks to the use of high-grip rubber). Built with WiFi connectivity, the controller works as any wireless one would, allowing you to play games on mobile devices as well as with the Xbox console connected to a television. The xCloud Adaptive controller also houses an in-built battery, large enough for it to power the controller as well work as an external power source for you smartphone or tablet (so you can game for longer), along with the multiple USB and 3.5mm ports designed to plug in external buttons and pads, and even a pair of headphones.

Designer: Sarang Sheth

The Microsoft xCloud Adaptive Controller is a piece of fan-made conceptual work and isn’t affiliated with the Microsoft brand.

8BitDo is updating one of its Bluetooth gamepads for Project xCloud

Peripheral manufacturer 8BitDo is best known for making retro-inspired controllers, but for its latest act the company is doing something different. Instead of yet another Switch-focused controller, 8BitDo is releasing a new Bluetooth gamepad designe...

The detachable Numpad of this modular keyboard is the productivity hack you need!

How often is it that you find yourself using your qwerty keyboard and wishing for a full length old-school keyboard with all the number keys and dedicated Page Up, Page Down keys? As someone who uses After Effects frequently, I find myself wishing for an attachment or a magical extension that would make those keys appear at my disposal. With designer Jonathan Welch’s innovation, I don’t need magic to improve my workflow, we have the Lyka keyboard for it!

The Lyka Modular Keyboard by Jonathan Welch piques our interest for a number of reasons. Not only does it come with a pretty minimal aesthetic, it also uses a unique concave pattern on the keys allowing your fingers to land on them confidently, giving you the ability to type easily while looking at the screen. What’s more, the Lyka comes with a modular build (reminiscent of the plug-and-play design seen in Roli’s music products). That modular build is the exact solution for my keyboard woes – use the simpler QWERTY keyboard for our everyday work, manage your desk space efficiently and when I need the additional keys, use the Lyka’s extension to attach and expand my keyboard, allowing me to work on my videos like a pro!

The idea behind Lyka’s modular makeup is simple. When you don’t need the extra bunch of keys, clip it off and you’re back to the compact QWERTY keyboard. I imagine designer Jonathan has a few modules up his sleeve too… a touchpad perhaps… or compatibility with Roli’s musical blocks, or a touchscreen like extension for quick note-taking or sketching down ideas when needed. Needless to say, we are excited and we can’t wait for more extensions to jazz up our desk with the Lyka keyboard!

Designer: Jonathan Welch

This tiny gadget combines Apple’s magic mouse and a laser pointer to be the ultimate work accessory!

The mouse was born as a direct result of the world’s first Graphical User Interface. As soon as computers began displaying icons, windows, and folders instead of endless lines of code, the keyboard immediately ended up falling short, and the mouse and cursor were born to help work as an extension of your hands. In the digital world, the mouse could help you tap on things, drag elements, zoom in or out, or navigate through large virtual canvasses. It’s been 55 years since the first mouse was invented at Stanford University, and experientially, not much has changed. We’ve still got buttons, scroll wheels, and only in the last two decades did we make the shift to wireless mice. The CheerPod is the Mouse’s most natural next step. Yes, it lets you do the same things you could with your regular mouse, but it also lets you do so much more! The CheerPod works not just with your computer, but with your tablet, phone, and even projector. It functions as a mouse, a trackpad, a remote control, and even a laser pointer… in short, if the mouse and cursor were extensions of your hand within your desktop computer, the CheerPod is an extension of your hand within every digital personal experience!

The CheerPod is a tiny, handheld device that boils the mouse down to its essentials. With a design that’s dictated by the need to be small and remote-like, the CheerPod is to mice what smartphones are to landlines – Portable, rectangular, and heavily feature-laden. It comes with an infrared sensor on its base, like all wireless mice, allowing you to drag your cursor by moving the physical device, but it also allows you to mimic gestures by swiping across screens in mobile and desktop interfaces. The CheerPod, unlike most wireless mice, works without a receiver, connecting directly to laptops, desktops, tablets, and even phones using Bluetooth. It sports a Magic Mouse-inspired touch-enabled surface on its top that lets you click, scroll, zoom, pinch, swipe, and even use multi-touch gestures… sort of like the love-child of a mouse and a trackpad.

While the CheerPod is, in itself, a better, smaller, and more universally compatible version of a wireless mouse, it’s most innovative feature is just a switch-flip away. A simple switch makes the CheerPod go airborne, allowing it from being a ground-based navigation device to something you can hold in your hand like a remote control. Its tiny, remote-shaped profile makes it exceptionally handy, allowing you to use it in presentations to cycle through slides, clicking on elements, or even zoom into images or graphs to delve into small details. The CheerPod even factors in its own laser pointer, allowing you to focus your audience’s attention on parts of your pitch too.

A winner of the 2020 Red Dot Design Award, the CheerPod showcases the evolutionary step in wireless controllers. It combines the functions of multiple products (mouse, trackpad, remote, pointer) into one device that’s not just universally compatible, working with Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android systems, but it’s ridiculously tiny too, allowing you to easily slip it into your laptop sleeve, backpack, or even your pocket to carry along with you (and comes with a battery life of 20 days). Not that everyone would want to carry a futuristic wireless controller with them everywhere, but then again, the fact that you could rush into a boardroom with just a pen-drive and your own wireless remote/laser-pointer sounds like a pretty great thing… or perhaps carry it along with your phone to use as a remote control for when you’re casting your mobile screen to a TV to watch media!

Designer: CheerPod

Click Here to Buy Now: $49 $99 (50% off). Hurry, only 5 left, under 48 hours to go! Raised over $388,369.

CheerPod – Air Mouse & Presentation Mouse

The CheerPod is a 2.6-inch mouse, touchpad, and laser pointer that lets you connect to any devices for seamless control anywhere.

CheerPod can be used as a full-function desktop mouse, touchpad and laser pointer on virtually any device. With support for the most frequently used hand gestures in both Desktop Mode and Air Mode, it’s comfortable to use and easy to control.

Universal Compatibility – No Receiver Needed

CheerPod saves your valuable input slot and delivers a fast connection. Simply connect it just like connect your wireless earbuds, easy and effortless. CheerPod’s universal compatibility makes it a perfect control solution for multi-device.

Ground Mode and Air Mode – Easy to Switch

When CheerPod is used in the Ground Mode, it works as a full-function desktop mouse + touchpad for various devices. When you are tired of placing your hands on the table while working, try the Air Mode to continue the work in an easier way!

At the flick of a switch, CheerPod instantly gives you gesture control from the comfort of your couch or moving freely around the room!

See What You Can Do With CheerPod

The Perfect Presentation Tool

Air Mode allows you to move around the room as you present, advancing slides, opening apps, and switching between important documents. Its built-in laser pointer is great for getting to the point and CheerPod supports the most frequently used controls for presentations such as: zoom in/out, turn the page, scroll control, and more using simple gestures.

Works as Remote Control for Media Entertainment

CheerPod is a super convenient remote control for TVs or phones and computers that are mirrored to the big screen.

Ergonomic Design

CheerPod is ergonomically designed to perfectly fit the hand and respond to natural hand movements. For this purpose, the team has tried all kinds of sizes. Based on the test result, they have made CheerPod compact enough that it fits in a pocket for go-anywhere convenience, but large enough to be comfortable for all-day use

Super Low Latency

For any wireless device, staying in sync is key. CheerPod has a super low latency of 7ms so it always responds with perfect accuracy and no lag. In a working range of 10m, you can control the device as you move freely around the room without any disconnection.

Super Portable

CheerPod is super slim at just 2.6 inches long and it’s a 33g featherweight. It goes with you anywhere, seamlessly transitioning between home, work, cafe or travel. With 20+ days of working time on a single charge, you can rely on it anytime you need it.

Complete List of Hand Gesture Controls

Click Here to Buy Now: $49 $99 (50% off). Hurry, only 5 left, under 48 hours to go! Raised over $388,369.

Interactive Speaker Designs for tech lovers who believe music is life!

Call me a fool, but I have never been very invested in a speaker. My focus would be on the lyrics of the song and as long as I got to hum along with the lyrics I was a happy soul. This cocoon of mine shattered after I took an interest in product design and joined Yanko! The sheer variety and functionality of the speaker designs we showcase have made me a fan of these designs, with a special focus on interactive speakers. The process of manually changing a speaker’s controls now feels like an almost meditative process to me and now that I have a better collection of speakers with me, I still find myself in awe when a designer mixes this essentially physical product with a physical interaction that helps us feel the melody. This is the collection curated here today – speakers that attune themselves to your needs – be it associating color to music, using non-traditional interfaces or adding a new digital element to the design, each speaker will inspire you to look at this humble everyday object in a whole new light!

sound tool

The motive for Ben Lorimore’s Sound Tool was to have a speaker whose operation relies upon physical intuition, leading it to be emotionally stimulating! The main source of inspiration comes from the eccentric movement of a Conductor; as the volume of the orchestra increases, as too does the Conductors physical presence. This has been beautifully translated into Sound Tool by encouraging the user to increase the volume of the music by grabbing each end of the speaker and pulling them apart! To increase the volume of Sound Tool, grab it and make it bigger. To decrease the volume, compress it. Fully collapse it to pause, Sound Tool will not play at 0% volume. It’s welcoming to see a product that encourages tangible interactions!

Atelier” is a hybrid entertainment system that marries high-end audio and television into one elegant unit. According to designer Kwanjun Ryu, it’s first and foremost a speaker to appeal to younger generations less concerned with TV. Created to rest close to the floor, it’s capable of delivering multidirectional, high-def sound that will envelop the user in their favorite tunes or talk radio. With the press of a button, a 32″ screen automatically raises to reveal a full HD color screen. This means, when it’s not in TV mode there’s no blank, black box cramping your room’s style!

The Layered, at first glance, won’t give you even the slightest idea of what it is. So I’ll help you out. Designed by X-Factor, the Layered is a Bluetooth speaker, with the equalizer turned into an interactive tactile element on the top. Taking bands of frequencies and dedicating different controls to them, the Layered contains six transparent discs lit from the bottom. These discs correspond to different frequency bands (calibrated to help control the presence of a particular instrument) and can be rolled up and down the Layered’s surface to work as an equalizer, allowing you to amplify or attenuate the effect of instruments in your music.

Sound project

The Sound Project, by Pascal Grangier, offers a new way of interacting with music using color tones. Colour and emotion are directly linked to one another, from subtle, pastel blues which are associated with calmness and a state of relaxation, through to vibrant reds which symbolize excitement and energy. Protruding out of the top of the speaker is a polycarbonate layer, where the mood and information are elegantly displayed. The music is controlled via a separate device that resides on the top of the module; by physically moving the device, the music levels alter.

You’ve heard of 2.1 audio, 5.1 audio, even perhaps 7.1 audio… but have you ever heard of 12.1 surround sound? That’s what Lingsong Jin’s Actinia speaker is about. Inspired by the tree-shaped sea anemone, the Actinia Speaker has 12 tweeters on its radially symmetric top, and a woofer right at the base. With a gradient-tinted glass body, the Actinia is virtually see-through, bringing an element of transparency to the uniquely shaped organic speaker body, almost reminiscent of how curvy Harman Kardon’s Soundsticks were, back in the day.

The Waving Multifunctional Speaker by RuiWang Xiang is a perfect example of how form and function can help redefine a product’s design. Given that wireless speakers are almost always used with smartphones, the Waving Multifunctional Speaker even doubles as a dock/stand for your mobile, allowing you to watch videos on it while the three mid-range audio drivers on the front pump sound out. The Waving Multifunctional Speaker even comes with a distinct wave-texture on its top which serves as a nifty area to rest stationery. Aware of the fact that most speakers find themselves placed on work desks, the Waving Multifunctional Speaker integrates clever and convenient solution, allowing you to rest your pens and pencils on it while you work. The Waving Multifunctional Speaker is also a winner of the A’ Design Award for the year 2020!

Mindaugas Petrikas’ Hevi speaker comes crafted from a mixture of rough concrete and wood, Hevi is a 360-degree modular speaker, with a warm and rustic aesthetic. With a glossy plastic plate stuck right in the middle of it, a surreal modern contrast is created to the otherwise homely materials, that are wood and concrete. What makes Hevi even more interesting is that it dissociates into two speakers! The top portion of Hevi consists of a mid-high frequency speaker, whereas the lower portion is a mid-low frequency speaker. The two can be detached, allowing you to carry either of the speakers wherever you wish. The compact upper speaker is, of course, the more portable option, something you could even carry for your outdoor adventures! When combined, both the speakers create a resounding high-quality sound.

Designed to be like an Amazon Echo Show but in the shape of an Amazon Echo, Royole’s new Mirage smart speaker tries to integrate flexible displays into smart speakers. The Mirage is a cylindrically shaped smart-speaker (with a floating halo) that responds to Amazon’s Alexa, but the most noticeable element about it is the screen that envelops nearly half the device, wrapping around from side to side. Royole’s always been an advocate of flexible electronics, with a folding tablet, phone, and even keyboard in its catalog of products. The Mirage adds itself to that list with the flexible display, which provides a new way of showcasing information that your smart speaker relays to you.

The Saturn hybrid speaker-light by Angie Kim & Heejae Choi begs the question: why shouldn’t our devices also be works of art?! The obvious answer is that everyone has largely different aesthetic tastes, but there’s no denying that Saturn’s sculptural form is better looking than plenty of other standalone Bluetooth speaker designs. Aside from providing high-quality audio streaming and stylish accent lighting on its rings, it also features a spinning feature that captivates with motion. Depending on the music tempo, its centered orb will turn to the timing of your favorite tunes!

Portable speakers don’t usually have intriguing aesthetics, so Arvin Maleki’s Seda was created with the intention of blending both visuals and technology to make it stand out. Its physical form radiates a zen feeling while also having a multifunctional appeal. Seda isn’t just smart, it was made to be intelligent. Seda has a pen holder in the center which also acts as a small space organizer. It features an embedded light bar in its external body which works as a desk light and it also has a dim ambient light – to be honest, this speaker is more lit than the playlist I made for it. It almost looks like an accent interior piece for your home than a portable speaker.

With an aesthetic that melds Japanese and French aesthetics together, the iFi Aurora by Julien Haziza is a hi-fi speaker that literally looks like it’s levitating off the surface of the table or mantelpiece it’s kept on. The audio unit is clad in a casing made of bamboo, with slatted strips around its periphery, adding contrast while also creating what one would perceive to be the grill for the speaker’s 8 drivers. The speaker’s semi-vintage look comes with a reason. It opts for analog signal processing over digital, delivering a sound that’s grand, lossless, and well balanced. Its in-built PureEmotion amplifying technology delivers room-filling, rich audio that engages you with music in its purest, hi-definition format. The speaker comes with Wi-Fi connectivity and Bluetooth 5.0, but even has more than its fair share of wired cable inputs, ranging from optical and coaxial to USB and even Ethernet.

Now that you are set with a speaker design, check out these innovative keyboard and mouse designs to help you create that dream desk setup!

These smart-home devices are disguised to look like balancing Zen Stones!

If the future of the smart home is all-around integration, what’s a better example than products that absolutely integrate themselves into your domestic surroundings? The Wepoom is a series of home-cameras and a projector that pull inspiration from zen stones, creating what is best described as an IoT Japanese rock garden in your home. The Wepoom is characterized by multiple pebble-shaped devices that nest one above the other on a wireless charging mat to periodically recharge their batteries. When they’re fully charged, the camera units can be strategically placed at various points in the house, while the projector unit itself could be used to have video chats with people in different rooms or to see who’s at the door. Conversely, Wepoom’s charging mat can even be used to juice your smartphone when its own devices aren’t getting re-energized.

The Wepoom explores an interesting design direction by making gadgets look more unassuming and allowing them to blend into home decor as interesting products (quite like this kinetic-sculpture WiFi router). Wepoom’s design explores an aspect of cultural relevance too, bridging the gap between tech and tradition in an unusually pleasing way. The individual pebble-cameras don’t just do their jobs, but also have an interactive element that doesn’t seem forced. I’d argue that balancing the zen-stones on top of one another (which get fixed in place magnetically so they don’t accidentally topple over) would be a sort of highlight that people would look forward to and enjoy, unlike the absolute chore it is to usually charge devices.

I imagine the only logical next step would be to design a silicone housing for the Nest Home Mini that resembles a Feng Shui Lucky Cat!

Designer: Seongmin Kang

What should smartphones look like after COVID-19? An open letter to Apple, Google, and Samsung

Hint: It definitely doesn’t involve expensive folding smartphones.

In a span of one month, I’ve seen leaks and official releases from OnePlus that indicate that they’re launching 3 phones (the 8, 8 Pro, and the Nord) in just the first half of 2020. That figure pales in comparison to Samsung, which has ALREADY launched 6 flagship phones just between January and March of this year (with more in the pipeline). Apple’s launched one low-end iPhone and is working on two more flagship iPhones to launch in September, Google’s allegedly working on the standalone Pixel 4A and the Pixel 5 series. Do we really need so many phones? Wait, let me rephrase that. Do we really need each tech company to launch a minimum of three smartphone models each year? I’m not even including Samsung’s A and M series, which would bring its grand total of 2020 launches to 16 separate smartphone models. Now, I’m no supply chain expert or marketing whiz, but I’ll just say this from a place of common sense. The human race DOES NOT NEED 16 new Samsung smartphones each year. It’s ridiculous that I even have to articulate such a thought. That doesn’t mean that launching 3 smartphones each year, like Apple, is a better business model either, ethically speaking. Consumer demand for smartphones may be high, but the demand for alcohol is high too. Does it make it ethical to ‘cater to consumer demand’ and pump out more alcohol each year? I honestly don’t think so.

(If you’re wondering why I’m equating smartphones with alcohol, it’s pretty simple. They’re both addictive, have a negative impact on behavior and mental health, and just to drive the point home, you’re legally forbidden from driving a car while under the influence of alcohol or while you’re on your phone… makes sense now, right?)

The world can’t pay $1.5K for ‘an innovative slab of glass’ anymore

The pandemic has done a good number on the economy, and consumer technology will surely feel the burn. The last thing phone manufacturers need to do right now is focus on quantity. Here’s my advice to Apple, Google, Samsung, and other smartphone manufacturers. Spare yourselves the trouble, maybe reconsider your marketing team and its budget, and cut down the number of phones you release each year to a more sensible number like TWO phones per year. One flagship, and one mid-range. Nobody has money to throw at folding display phones, so here’s an open request to Samsung to ditch the upcoming Galaxy Fold 2. Focus more energy on building phones that cost less, last longer, and can be repaired. You could consider charging a premium for repairing phones and earning your money through fixing and prolonging the lifespan of existing devices, not through selling new ones.

Don’t try to be ‘disruptive’. This year has disrupted enough.

Sparring isn’t always about throwing punches, it’s about dodging them too. When you anticipate a knockout blow approaching your face, it’s only common sense to take a step back instead of trying to land a punch of your own. That metaphor holds true when it comes to business, technology, and innovation too. When the situation is conducive to moving forward, facial recognition, faster processors, flexible displays, and pop-up cameras make absolute sense. When the world as we know it is in tailspin, relying on more robust features like better battery life, fingerprint reading, durable construction, and a radio chip for emergencies makes more sense, even if it feels like a step backward. After all, that’s how you avoid being knocked out, right?

Now would be a good time to focus on redefining ‘safety and protection’

As we enter these unprecedented times, the approach to safety needs to be manifold, involving both physical as well as digital protection. It’s pretty common knowledge (and I’ve shared this a bunch of times) that the average smartphone is as dirty as, if not dirtier than, your regular toilet seat. It collects bacteria on an hourly basis, constantly touches our hands, our face, and rarely (if ever) gets sanitized. Now I’m thinking out loud here, but wouldn’t it be a good time to make a smartphone that, by design, repels germs? We’ve covered, in-depth, hook-shaped EDC designs machined from copper or brass that help you maneuver through life, opening doors, pressing buttons, or carrying bags without having to use your hands. The copper/brass construction helps actively kill/repel viruses and bacteria, so how about if the backplate of your phone, instead of glass or aluminum, was made of an anti-microbial material like brass or copper which would help reduce germ collection? What if the phone’s OLED display had a built-in low-intensity UV-C light that could neutralize germs on the glass screen while the phone was idle? It’s time to start thinking of the phone as an extension of the body, and just how masks and PPE are necessary to protect YOU from viruses, your phone should be built to resist germs too… it isn’t too much to ask, especially for a device that we throw thousands of dollars on, and use for an average of 6-8 hours every single day.

Speaking of viruses and its obvious dual-meaning both in real life as well as in tech, digital safety is arguably just as important as physical safety. As companies like Apple and Google roll out their contact-tracing APIs that help track users and who they’re interacting with, the obvious risk to personal privacy is more than apparent. We’re always quick to surrender our privacy for safety immediately after a disaster, but it’s been nearly 20 years since 9/11, and Edward Snowden says the FBI still taps into our devices, has records of our lives, and reaches out to big companies for information on you. Google’s even being slapped with a whopping $5 billion lawsuit for tracking user data even within their browser’s incognito mode, and it’s happening as we speak. Privacy is a basic human right, and a disaster shouldn’t really change that fundamental fact. It’s an opportune time for phone companies to appeal to us by being more trustworthy. I, for starters, wouldn’t mind a smartphone with a physical disengage switch that turns off the cameras, microphones, and disconnects the SIM card. Like an Airplane Mode that goes ahead and physically severs your phone’s connection to the SIM card, WiFi module, GPS module, camera, and microphone… or better yet, a smartphone that isn’t that smart to begin with – Nokia, Blackberry, it’s your time to shine!

Final Thoughts

To conclude this monologue (which I hoped would be a little more optimistic than it’s turned out to be), it’s time big OEMs revise their playbook, not just for the sake of their customers but for their own longterm health. It’s obviously time to say goodbye to massive keynotes with large swathes of journalists and fans, and to hardware releases that show up every year like clockwork… and to usher in an age where smartphones are designed to actually last, and to be repaired when for some reason they don’t. A long-term relationship with your phone isn’t going to be complete without trust either, which, to be honest, there is an absolute deficit of… especially after how many times companies like Google, Facebook, and the like have betrayed our trust, prioritized profits over basic human decency, or have been so incredibly tight-lipped about what they’re doing with our data. How else do you explain major companies boycotting Facebook Ads to the tune of $7 billion, or the fact that people are legitimately tipping over 5G towers as a form of protest??

The virus, as negative and devastating as its impact has been on the global scale, has also given us a unique opportunity to wipe the slate clean and begin afresh. I honestly hope that companies like Apple, Samsung, Google, and their contemporaries actually seize this moment to reflect on their values, to do better, and to be better.

3D print this NASA wearable that prevents you from touching your face!

The pandemic COVID-19 is still plaguing our world and that means we still need to make sure we don’t touch our faces, wear masks, wash our hands. We don’t even realize that we touch our face up to 2000 times a day which is a fundamental behavior of our species to self-soothe according to psychologists. Changing habits is hard enough already, and changing inherent habits while we adjust to bigger life changes might sound near impossible. So NASA has designed Pulse, a DIY wearable necklace that warns you when you are about to touch your face.

NASA isn’t selling these directly, but Jet Propulsion Laboratory has made the 3D-printed concept available as an open-source project so anyone can make this smart wearable for their own health and safety. It works on a simple mechanism – the necklace has a sensor that detects when the user lifts their hands towards their face and it will vibrate to warn them using power from a common button battery. This vibration is a reminder for the user to not touch their face and soon establishes the muscle memory required to turn this into a new behavioral pattern. All the necessary STL files, the list of the parts you’ll need, and the assembly instructions have been made freely available for anyone to make these. Apart from the 3D printer and having the knowledge of basic electrical DIY skills, all the components are easy to source and if you want to learn then YouTube is always there as a resource.

This isn’t a 100% prevention but an aid that goes along with masks, sanitizers, regular hand-washing, and staying home to minimize your chance of contracting the virus to as low as you possibly can. Please wear masks when you go out in public for essential errands or even a stroll, and try to use reusable cloth masks so that health professionals and workers on the frontline can get the priority for disposable PPE which is still in short supply. As Batman said, “I don’t wear a mask to protect myself, I wear it to protect those around me.”

Designers: NASA and Jet Propulsion Laboratory