The thinking about the Coronavirus was gripping designer Steve Brooks as he drove his car to his west London factory last week. The question on his mind was: What could he make to open the door without touching the handle?

"Everyone has to use the little finger or find part of the door that no one has touched," said Brooks, owner of DDB, which makes office furniture.

What was only for him to create a clip to accomplish that task, according to a report by "Reuters", published on Wednesday.

This clip, called the hygienic clip, is small enough to fit in a pocket and made of a solid, non-porous material that is easy to clean.

It is one of the hundreds of innovations that slides have ravaged in recent days and weeks to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.

Companies around the world in areas from the furniture industry to artificial intelligence software are working to adapt their current products or create new products to help fight the Corona pandemic or make life easier for those who work from home, hospital workers, or quarantine.

The door opens without having to touch the handle
The door opens without having to touch the handle

A wave of innovations


The wave of innovation comes at a time when companies such as Ford, Airbus, and LVMH are retooling their factories to produce vital equipment, such as hand sanitizer packages, respirators, and masks.

In the past, it has traditionally relied on large firms like these with financial clout and factories to rapidly transition from designing prototypes to manufacturing a turnkey product.

However, one of the main differences now is that 3D printing and advanced software allow innovations to be produced at a faster rate than ever before, whether in large or small companies.

"There is definitely a large number of people who have 3D capabilities and are very willing to help," said MacKenzie Brown, founder of CADCrowd, a product design company in California.

Two weeks ago, his company started a month-long competition to create practical means that facilitate life in the time of the Coronavirus.

The company received about 65 proposals, including a package to spray disinfectant that is attached to the wrist, half gloves to press the buttons with the fingertips, and a tool to open car doors without touching the handle for those who ride taxis.

With the increasing awareness of people about personal hygiene thanks to the Coronavirus, also known as "Covid-19", some products may last longer than the current crisis.


Modified technology


In Seattle, brothers Joseph and Matthew Tolles and their friend Justin Ath, who own a startup called Slightly Robot, have developed a bracelet designed to reduce the compulsive disorders of skin scraping, nail-biting and hair-pulling.

And when their city announced the fall of the first victims of the virus in it last month, they modified this design to manufacture a new smart bracelet they called "Imotic" that emits Aziza when the bearer's hand approaches his face.

"We had the platform and we had the software and the device itself. We changed the purpose so that it becomes face touch," said Matthew Tooles.

"We made 350 devices and set up a website in a week, and now the problem is the speed with which we can increase production," he added.

On the other hand, the Romanian computer software company, UI-Bath, found a way to rid the nurses at the Matter Missericordai University Hospital in the Irish capital Dublin from the time-consuming process of recording data and converting the process of recording virus test results into an automated process.

The company hopes to repeat this process in other hospitals.

As for "Scilla", an American company specializing in artificial intelligence and making weapons detection devices for schools and casinos, it set its sights on the Coronavirus when China announced the discovery of its first cases three months ago.

The company re-used its AI-powered analytical software to measure the temperature of individuals from the forehead and trigger an alarm if overheating is detected.

The company's technology sector director, Ara Ghazarian, said that the company's software receives images from a thermal camera and can be used in public buildings such as hospitals, airports, and corporate offices.

He added that the government of a country in South America requested 5,000 licenses to use this system in public buildings and transportation networks.


Innovations of World War III


Big global turmoil often spawns new products and innovations.

The developments may lead to an analogy between the current wave of innovation and what the world witnessed during World War II when companies, governments, and scientists embarked on projects that had repercussions that continued beyond the war.

For example, the technology used to guide missiles led to the launch of the first satellites and to the landing of humans on the surface of the moon.

"There is no doubt that inventors will come up with hundreds of new ideas, if not thousands," said inventor Ken Kramer, founder of the British Inventors' Society.

Kramer was the first to consider downloading music and data in the late 1970s.

"Everyone threw their tools and they only grabbed them to fight the virus. This is a global war," he said.

Many companies donate or sell new tools at cost. The CAD Crowd Competition designs, for example, are freely available to download and use.

However, some argue that the extra activity could provide financial protection as other sources of income dissipate during the pandemic.

Brooks, a designer at DDB near London, rushed to work.

Less than a week after the first design, four different models of the clip went on sale this week, at just under 15 pounds ($ 18.60) each. And he gives the buyer a free buckle with everyone he buys.

And now Brooks has turned his sights on another, similar innovation.

"We have already received a request from the National Health Service in Wales to design a device that pushes the doors," says Brooks.

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