NASA’s PULSE pendant reminds users not to touch their faces

In addition to washing hands frequently, wearing a face mask when going outside, and maintaining social distance, one of the most common advice for reducing the risk of new Coronavirus infection is to avoid touching your face as much as possible. This is simply because you have to touch a lot of things or surfaces such as buttons in the elevator, handrails, or other objects, which could contain traces of the virus. And by touching your face, you expose yourself to possible infection.

However, we often do this without even realizing it, and it is also a habit that many of us have. Now, NASA came up with the idea of how to deal with it.

A team of three engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) developed PULSE, a 3D-printed wearable device that pulses, or vibrates when a person’s hand is nearing their face.

The electrical components, with call-outs, that make up the initial first pendant prototype.
The electrical components, with call-outs, that make up the initial first pendant prototype.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

PULSE is not meant to take the place of masks or respirators, but only to be a warning device that your hands are moving past the pendant towards your face,” NASA said. “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.

The PULSE pendant uses an infrared proximity sensor with up to 12-inches of range to detect motion. When the wearer’s hand approached their face, the sensor detects the movement, and the vibrating motor is activated. The closer your hands are to the sensor, the more intense the vibrations get.

And the best part is that the PULSE design is open source. You can easily download the list of parts you need, CAD designs, of course, absolutely free. Almost anyone with a 3D printer can create it for their use and thus avoid touching their faces.

Since the beginning of this pandemic, several brands have produced devices that help prevent transmission and contagion. NASA did not want to be left out and has now brought us PULSE.