When you talk about germs that are spread by touch, most people might think of bathroom handles and doors, or household surfaces. But you might not realize that your mobile device can be as dirty as the bottom of your shoe, according to research discussed in The American Journal of Infection Control. People take their mobile devices into bathrooms and public restrooms, handle them with dirty hands while eating, wear them inside sweaty clothes, and share them with other users who don't wash their hands. You can take steps to deter the spread of germs such as wiping down your devices with a moist microfiber cloth, or a sterilizing agent for more serious bacteria, but it's easier not to accumulate germs at all.
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That's where no-touch technology is helping combat the spread of contamination. Thanks to technology advances such as connected devices and voice control, you can reduce the number of times your hands come into contact with dirty surfaces. Here are some ways touch-free technology is helping stop the spread of germs in your home.
Fighting household germs starts in your bathroom. The same type of no-touch faucet technology increasingly used in public bathrooms can also be applied to your home. Many automatic faucets cost hundreds of dollars, but for less than $50 you can get an iFaucet EZ Faucet Automatic Touch-Free Faucet Adapter. Powered by four AAA batteries and activated by an infrared sensor, the adapter turns on your faucet when you place your hands in front of it. The unit is drip-free so that it only runs water when you need it. For the same price or less, you can also install a simplehuman sensor pump, which can dispense soap or lotion.
Showerheads and bathtub faucets can be another source of germs. You can cut down on shower germs with a no-touch showerhead such as SmarTap. SmarTap lets you use no-touch technology to set your shower's maximum temperature, flow rate and time range, reducing the spread of germs while also conserving water and electricity. You can control SmarTap remotely through your mobile device or by using Amazon Echo.
Then there's toilets. American Standard has made using the toilet more hygienic by introducing no-touch ActiVate toilet flush technology. Just waving your hand lets you avoid touching a dirty toilet handle. The toilet and seat also use an antimicrobial additive that reduces germs.
The kitchen is another place where germs can spread to hands from faucets, sinks, counters, tables, food and garbage cans. Reduce germs from your faucet and sink by installing a no-touch faucet. For a little over $50, motion-activated faucets are already available. These devices are useful both for fighting germs as well as assisting people who have trouble reaching or handling faucets, such as disabled home owners and arthritis sufferers.
Meanwhile, plumbing fixtures provider Pfister recently introduced the prototype for the no-touch, voice-activiated Auris faucet as part of its Water Over Wire (WOW) initiative. The Auris is the first kitchen faucet that lets you use your voice to turn water on and off, select hot and cold, provide on-demand filtered or boiling water, pour digitally-precise volumes of water and automatically fill your sink.
Devices such as Amazon's Alexa give you touch-free control over a range of other household appliances. For instance, in your living room, you can turn on your lights, change TV channels or adjust your thermostat. You can also control your smart home with your voice through most recent mobile devices using voice control technology such as Siri.
You can also use wireless technology to avoid germs on your property outside your home. Once you set up a wireless Lorex home security camera system, for example, you never have to touch your cameras again because any subsequent adjustments can be made using the app. And with a new technology called Dogdrones, you can even deploy a drone to scout your backyard and send out a robot pooper-scooper to clean up after your dog.
Roy Rasmussen, coauthor of Publishing for Publicity, is a freelance writer who helps select clients write quality content to reach business and technology audiences. His clients have included Fortune 500 companies and bestselling authors. His most recent projects include books on cloud computing, small business management, sales, business coaching, social media marketing, and career planning.