NASA necklace touch face, 3D-printed pendant that detects your hand.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has developed a necklace that aims to reduce the spread of the coronavirus by warning people when they’re about to touch their face. Called Pulse, the wearable is a 3D-printed pendant that uses a proximity sensor and vibrates if your hand approaches. The vibrations get stronger the closer your hand is to your face.

“The objective of PULSE is to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus, which can be transmitted if an individual touches an infected surface with their hand and then touches either their eyes, nose or mouth,” NASA said in a brochure about the wearable. “This concept is a response to how often hand-face contact occurs throughout the day, a subconscious behavior that can be overlooked and challenging to correct.”

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To help protect yourself from COVID-19, you can look to guidelines set down by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Wear a face mask, practice social distancing, disinfect surfaces, wash hands frequently and avoid touching your face. The CDC says the coronavirus transmits through respiratory droplets that spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. These droplets can land on surfaces or in the mouths or noses of people nearby.

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NASA said Pulse is designed to be affordable and simple to make so it can be reproduced by anyone. Assembly instructions and a list of parts are open-source and free for public use.

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Apple, Samsung and Google, among other tech giants, have made updates to their wearables to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Samsung and Google have handwashing timers for their watches. Apple also introduced a variety of features at WWDC, including a hand-washing timer for the Apple Watch and face masks for Memoji to encourage healthy habits.


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