Who invented the door handles?

Swiss inventors invent self-disinfecting door handles

A Swiss technology company has developed a self-disinfecting door handle. According to the company, life could protect in times of corona.

  1. Self-disinfecting door handles could save lives
  2. Three-stage system for door handle hygiene
  3. Self-disinfecting door handle: cartridge can disinfect up to 1,000 times

Even if it is questionable how many infections with the coronavirus actually happen via contaminated surfaces: It is possible. Smooth surfaces such as doorknobs are particularly dangerous and are used by many people. The development of a Swiss technology company can now prevent infections: a smart, self-disinfecting door handle.

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The "Touch 1" disinfects itself after each use by pumping a disinfectant from the handle housing onto a ring-shaped sponge and pulling it over the door handle. According to the manufacturer Tweaq, 99.99 percent of bacteria and viruses are destroyed in less than three seconds.

The door handle is controlled by a circuit board that uses sensors to determine when it is being used. An Internet of Things module to which the handle is connected is used to count how often the handle is touched - and thus disinfected - during the day. You get a message via an app when you need to refill the disinfectant.

Self-disinfecting door handles could save lives

The handle was developed after learning that 95 percent of people don't wash their hands properly, according to Tweaq. "This motivated our search for smart, innovative hygiene solutions that improve health and safety in public places and at home," writes the Swiss manufacturer. With the self-disinfecting door handle, lives could be protected - especially in times of pandemic.

In fact, coronaviruses can stay on smooth surfaces for up to 28 days, Australian researchers have found. It is questionable what proportion smear infections have in the actual transmission of the coronavirus. But at least in theory, humans can become infected through contaminated surfaces.

According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), however, disinfection is appropriate for surfaces that have frequent contact with the hands of a person who may be ill. The RKI cites door handles as an example.

Three-stage system for door handle hygiene

Tweaq isn't the first company to come up with a solution to the door handle problem. The German fittings manufacturer Eco Schulte has also developed a system for door handles that is intended to largely prevent smear infections.

The system has three stages:

  • Level 1: an antibacterial and antiviral protective layer on the door handle
  • Level 2: Door handles and handle attachments, which enable doors to be opened and closed without skin contact
  • Level 3: an individual automation concept for heavily frequented doors.

The level required depends on how often a door is used and where it is located. In the health care sector, for example, the focus is on comprehensive automation concepts, says Eco Schulte. With the coating, the first stage, 99 percent of the viruses and bacteria could be killed within two hours. The coating has a lifespan of up to three years, writes the manufacturer.

Self-disinfecting door handle: cartridge can disinfect up to 1,000 times

According to Tweaq, the disinfectant liquid and the lithium battery of the "Touch 1" last for up to 1,000 disinfections. However, this is not exactly cheap: the system costs around 440 euros with two handles for one door. A cartridge filling costs around 60 euros.

The concept of self-cleaning objects in everyday life is nothing new. Self-cleaning toilet seats have been around for years. These toilets disinfect the toilet seat after each use. They are known and widespread especially in Asia. In the meantime, however, toilets with self-cleaning glasses can also be found in Western Europe, especially in restaurants and public buildings.