Doors carry disease. A contaminated doorknob can infect half an office in just a few hours. But you can’t exactly socially distance from a door. As some companies plan a return to the office, entrepreneurs, engineers and architects are confronting a design challenge: how to keep the public safe from shared items that require constant decontamination. Grabbing a doorknob is almost as unconscious as touching your face — and both are now considered health risks.
… Tired of using his sleeve to open doors, Canadian Ziad Salah and two friends designed a solution. Their product, the CleanKey, is a key-shaped pocket tool with a hook on the end that can open doors of up to 70 pounds without the user’s hands ever touching the door handle. It can also be used to press elevator buttons, keypads or touch screens.
… Carrying such tools might not be for everyone, though, so some 3D-printing evangelists have altered the design of the door itself. It took engineers at Materialise, which runs Europe’s largest 3D-printing factory, just three days to design, manufacture, refine and publish online printing blueprints for a device that can be installed on an existing door handle and allows it to be opened with a forearm instead of a hand.