NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab has invented a prototype wearable electronic device to combat the ongoing coronavirus crisis, according to a post on NASA's website. Called PULSE, it pesters wearers every time they bring a hand too close to their face.
It's not for sale, the full plans for the novel device are open source.
Wearable device scolds people for touching their face
NASA's website describes PULSE as "a 3D-printed wearable device that pulses, or vibrates, when a person's hand is nearing their face." The device's haptic feedback comes from a vibration motor designed to simulate a nudge that reminds wearers to avoid touching themselves close to viral entryways into the body — thus reducing the chance of potential infection.
Health officials have long advised us to wash our hands and wear a mask outdoors — and now a team of three from NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) have invented PULSE to work in tandem with these other, more conventional efforts to keep ourselves healthy, and functioning at our fullest capacity.
NASA makes PULSE design open source
Out of generosity, NASA has made the entire plans for its small device open source, which include a list of assembly instructions, parts, and STL files — free for all, reports Futurism. The agency hopes companies and individuals will make use of their work to reproduce, refine, or enhance PULSE for widespread distribution, according to the post.
PULSE design combats ongoing coronavirus crisis
The tiny device is simple and minimalist in design. Equipped with an infrared proximity sensor, a quarter-sized vibration motor, and a three-volt battery, the vibration motor is triggered as soon as the wearer moves to touch their face.
Whether or not the device becomes a new vogue fashion standard, one thing's for certain: it's already seen more success than a similar prototype from the Australian astrophysicist Daniel Reardon — who accidentally stuck four small magnets up his nose late in March while attempting to invent a similar gadget.