As we adjust to the “new normal” and slowly return to some semblance of life before the arrival of the coronavirus, many Americans are making small changes to reduce the odds of the virus impacting their family.
Maybe you decide to jog outside, rather than on a treadmill in a potentially crowded gym? Or perhaps you keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer in the car and spend 10 seconds applying it whenever you sit behind the wheel.
Tech can play a role, too. Here are several new gadgets that might be able to help you stay healthy, at home and on the go.
Improve the air that you breathe
Air purifiers for the home aren’t new, but they’ve never been more relevant.
Along with cleaning the air of dust, smoke, mold and allergens, Molekule’s Air Mini+ ($499) is a small and quiet air purifier that can help remove airborne viruses that travel in tiny suspended droplets and linger for hours before they settle on surfaces.
Air Mini+ has a 360-degree air intake to take in surrounding air from every angle. The sensor then rates air particle levels from “Good” to “Very Bad,” offering a glance into the quality of your indoor air, and can auto-adjust fan speed accordingly (or choose from one of five fan speeds). You can track your PECO (Photo Electrochemical Oxidation) filtering status from an app.
Molekule says its products meet the performance criteria recommended by the FDA guidelines for use in healthcare settings to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2 (the coronavirus strain that causes COVID-19).
UV light can sanitize your smartphone
Your smartphone could be as much as seven times dirtier than a toilet seat, according to researchers including reports published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
Let that sink in for a moment.
What’s more, deadly germs, bacteria, and even the coronavirus can live on the surface of your phone for up to four days.
The HoMedics UV-Clean Phone Sanitizer ($79) is a small pouch in which to place your smartphone – even a large one like the Galaxy S20 Ultra or iPhone 11 Pro Max – and once you zip it up and press a button, it uses ultraviolet light to kill up to 99.9% of bacteria and viruses at the DNA level.
HoMedics says its UV-C LED technology has been proven to sanitize in just one minute, which is up to 10 times faster than other sanitizers on the market.
You can get up to 70 uses between charges. When it runs low, use the included USB cable to plug it into a power source to juice up.
HoMedics also has a UV-Clean Portable Sanitizer bag ($99), which offers the same sanitization power as the phone sanitizer but is larger and has additional UV lamps, so you can fit other items, too, like car keys, eyeglasses, jewelry, TV remotes, and more.
Cover your keyboard, transparently
Your computer keyboard is another surface that could harbor germs, bacteria and viruses. This might be especially troubling for those working and schooling from home.
Available for MacBook Pro, the Uppercase GhostCover Premium Ultra Thin Keyboard Protector ($12.95) is one of the highest-rated keyboard protectors on Amazon, with an average rating of 4.5 stars out of five among nearly 3,000 customers.
Engineered to fit precisely to the keyboard of your 2016 to 2019 MacBook Pro -- including support for those with a Touch Bar (but does not cover it) – this super thin (0.005 inch) transparent cover is placed over your keyboard, and then can be removed and wiped down or washed, and then reapplied.
Uppercase says the protector is made with premium engineering grade Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) material. Despite its thinness, the protector is transparent enough to allow the keyboard backlight shine through.
Tap into a smarter faucet
If you thought having a smart speaker in your kitchen was cool, wait ‘til you get a load of what the U by Moen Smart Kitchen Faucet (from $499) can do.
You can not only wave your hand to start the flow of water – like you can hands-free at restaurants and airports and such – but also use your voice, too, if you have an Alexa- or Google-enabled smart speaker nearby, and even ask for a desired temperature and specific volume of water.
For example, place a pot underneath the faucet and ask to dispense two cups of hot water, so you can get a head start making spaghetti for the family.
As you’ll see in this video, you can also give a command like “Alexa, ask Moen to wash my hands” and the water will turn on so you can get your hands wet, then it turns off while you lather for 20 seconds. It will turn back on when it’s time to rinse, after 20 seconds.
How are Moen's engineers keeping themselves busy? If you have the voice-controlled U by Moen Smart Faucet, see for yourself. Simply ask Alexa “Moen, wash my hands”. Stay safe and healthy!
Posted by Moen on Monday, April 13, 2020
This faucet also works with an app, where you can set pre-sets for things like “Coffee maker” or “baby bottle" – and has a manual handle, too.
Boost your cell signal
Finally, while many are now working from home, or perhaps at a summer cabin or cottage, a cellular signal booster could significantly improve calls, texts and data speeds.
After all, lousy reception and missed or dropped calls can be embarrassing when working remotely with colleagues, clients, or customers.
Covering up to 3,500 square feet, the SureCall Flare 3.0 ($379) comes in two pieces, one small unit with a booster and antenna – which can be placed on a bookshelf, table or desk – and a second antenna, which is mounted outside to boost reception (50-foot RG-6 cable also included).
SureCall Flare 3.0 works with any U.S. smartphone and carrier, and can also boost voice and 4G LTE data signals on 5G phones and other cellular devices, like hotspots.