Due to obvious reasons, the need to reduce touching high-contact surfaces in public is at the forefront of an increasingly nervous society.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and brought attention to the way viruses can easily spread via droplets, aerosols, and fomites. That last one is particular interest here, and is the reasons why a Melbourne-based company is now making a curious product called “Reggie Key”.
Reggie Key is essentially a sixth finger. Although it isn’t made of flesh and bone, but rather a solid 260 antimicrobial brass alloy – all gold and highly attractive with its unique hook design. It looks like a futuristic knuckle-duster, but instead of using it as a weapon, it can be used as a tool to mimic the hooking and pressing motions of a finger.
This means you can simply pick (most) things up, open doors (like supermarket fridges) and punch in Eftpos pin codes without actually having to touch anything. Any germs on a surface instead are transferred to the Reggie Key, which is intentionally designed according to the metal’s well documented antimicrobial properties.
The metal’s inherent ability to kill a wide range of harmful microbes has seen similar alloys, and their bass metal of copper, used in hospital settings for years. The sanitation benefits of these dates back to medical texts as old as 4,000 years, utilised extensively by Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Aztecs. There are even records of Hippocrates using copper to treat open wounds and skin irritations, highlighting how well-known the benefits are when it comes to kill germs with these types of metal.
With all the uncertainty surrounding the eventual return of travel right now, it very well could be that Reggie Key becomes an essential tool for the average person in the near-future. You’d no longer have to bunch your hand up in the bottom half of your shirt and use it to open a fridge, instead letting this brass surface take on the germs for you, for example.
Of course, that raises the question of how to store the Reggie Key when you’re using it everyday. The tool ships with an attachment so you can add it to a keychain and take it with you, but you’d still have to immediately put it back in your pocket or bag.
The 260 antimicrobial brass alloy has been shown to naturally reduce bacterial contamination by 99.9% within 2.5 hours of exposure. That’s impressive, given that COVID-19 has been shown to maintain stability on common surfaces made plastics and stainless steel for up to 72 hours. The same study found no viable SARS-CoV-2 on copper surfaces (which brass would fall under) after four hours.
Reggie Key is priced at A$39.99 and is available in limited qualities from reggiekey.com.