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