Device for germophobes who don't want to touch things in public

Unusual device for people afraid to touch anything. Check out the videos -- it's a hook on a switchblade mechanism. I can't help myself -- I want one -- not because I fear germs, but because it looks like fun to use.
The Handler For germ conscious Americans The Handler is the next best thing to wearing surgical gloves in public bathrooms, airports and when you are traveling. It's a keychain sized mechanical device that allows you to open doors, pull levers, operate the paper towel dispenser and push ATM keypads without having to actually touch those things with your bare hands --- avoiding direct contact with germ infested public surfaces. This totally new product is infused with bacteria and virus killing nano-silvers that kill germs on contact, so it is always disinfecting itself. Perfect for the millions of germaphobes who burn through reams of paper towels in order to avoid contact with door handles, the retractable armature never touches you, your clothes or purse and proceeds to kill almost any and all germs after you use it. International travelers will definitely appreciate this totally new approach to reducing their risk to the host country's bacteria and cold and flu viruses.


  1. I hadn’t heard of “nano-silvers” before, so I did a little Googling. They are, as you might expect, very tiny particles of silver, and they do indeed appear to have an antibacterial effect — when they’re used as part of a filtration system. I’m not at all sure what the nano-silvers embedded in the skin of this hook are supposed to do; it seems a bit like embedding poison pellets in the concrete foundation of your building in hopes of keeping the rats out of the basement. It looks to me like colloidal silver with a new name.

  2. But perhaps I snarked too soon: the article I linked to says, “Applications for silver nanocrystals include as an anti-microbial, anti-biotic and anti-fungal agent when incorporated in coatings, nanofiber, first aid bandages, plastics, soap and textiles, in treatment of certain viruses, in self cleaning fabrics, as conductive filler and in nanowire and certain catalyst applications.” I still would expect it to function only in a suspension or in an ablative environment, but I guess this isn’t as obviously dumb as it first seemed.

  3. “Allows you to open all types of doors”

    Uhh, except ones with knobs!

    I like how the video also shows someone opening a bathroom stall door, but not how they plan on turning the little bolt crank.

  4. nexisnet , April 10, 2008 6:02 PM

    I like how the video also shows someone opening a bathroom stall door, but not how they plan on turning the little bolt crank.

    You use your tongue.

  5. Paper towels FTW.

    Seriously, I hate public restrooms and try my damnedest not to use them, but when I do, I almost always see someone walk in, expel their bodily waste(s) and walk out without washing their dirty, filthy hand meats.


  6. your fault. Entirely.

    (National Lampoon)

    (You are a fluke of the universe.
    You have no right to be here.
    Deteriorata, Deteriorata)

    Go placidly amidst the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof. Avoid quiet and passive persons, unless you are in need of sleep. Rotate your tires. Speak glowingly of those greater than yourself; and heed well their advice, even though they be turkeys. Know what to kiss – and when. Consider that two wrongs never make a right, but that three do. Wherever possible, put people on hold. Be comforted, that in the face of all irridity and disillusionment, and despite the changing fortunes of time, there is always a big future in computer maintenance.

    (You are a fluke of the universe.
    You have no right to be here.
    Whether you can hear it or not,
    The universe is laughing behind your back.)

    Remember the Pueblo. Strive at all times to bend, fold, spindle, and mutilate. Know yourself. If you need help, call the FBI. Exercise caution in your daily affairs, especially with those persons closest to you… That lemon on your left, for instance. Be assured that a walk through the seas of most souls would scarcely get your feet wet. Fall not in love, therefore, it will stick to your face. Gracefully surrender the things of youth: the birds, clean air, tuna, Taiwan – and let not the sands of time get in your lunch. Hire people with hooks. For a good time, call 606-4311, ask for Ken. Take heart in the deepening gloom that your dog is finally getting enough cheese. And reflect that whatever misfortune may be your lot, it could only be worse in Milwaukee.

    (You are a fluke of the universe.
    You have no right to be here.
    Whether you can hear it or not,
    The universe is laughing behind your back.)

    Therefore, make peace with your god, whatever you perceive him to be: hairy thunderer or cosmic muffin. With all its hopes, dreams, promises, and urban renewal, the world continues to deteriorate. GIVE UP!

    (You are a fluke of the universe.
    You have no right to be here.
    Whether you can hear it or not,
    The universe is laughing behind your back.)

  7. wait, so if you let this thing touch say, a piece of poo, it becomes clean poo then? Get to work, nanosilvers!

  8. not bad! Though the Hoff Soap was a bit much.

    Japan has had an anti-oyaji cootie industry for years. Germicidal PIN pads etc.

    Unbroken skin is a shield against almost anything biological. A little discipline and you will almost never catch the flu by just never touching your face. Can’t recollect, but there’s a list floating around that shows just what proportion of your body is commensual bacteria. It’s HUGE.

    Which episode of Invader Zim has the bacteria magnifying goggles?

  9. #15 posted by Takuan , April 10, 2008 9:21 PM

    not bad! Though the Hoff Soap was a bit much.

    You didn’t like the Hoff Soap?! C’mon! It was the icing on the cake!

  10. TSA is cool with this. I have one and brought on plane and the TSA lady said it was ok cuz it had no sharp edges and was under 4″s ( like most of the guys that posted on here :))

  11. @17

    you should have smiled at her AND THEN PLUNGED IT INTO HER NECK, TWISTED IT AND RIPPED OUT HER JUGULAR VEIN!!!!…oh,sorry, been leafing through my comic book collection again

  12. I think latex or leather gloves would be easier to use, not to mention sexier. Rogue, anyone?

  13. Aargh, a huge reply was swallowed because the “text entered was wrong”. Ideologically or factually? We may never know what offended the comment system. Oh well, hope this fares better.

    @15 – Takuan

    In a healthy human, bacterial cells outnumber human cells by approx 10:1 (I’ve seen estimates between 8:1 and 11:1). The ratio of viruses to human cells will be so huge as to be incalculable. Also, we have a surprising number of recognisable viral and bacterial genes in our genome – the wikipedia article on “endogenous retroviruses” is pretty good if you’re interested.

    Very little is known about the typical population of gut bacteria, or even whether “typical population” is a meaningful phrase. It’s certainly influenced by diet and culture and possibly genetics. Your gut bacteria is essential for digesting certian foods (um… including some sugar types but I can’t remember which) and possibly involved in the immune response against pathogens. It was recently shown that changing a mouse’s gut population could make it skinny or obese.

    Silver particles are acknowledged as germicidal; it’s fairly common to find wound dressings and surgical tools with silver particles in the surfaces.

    But most importantly: does it come with a free eyepatch? Yaaarr!

  14. arrr!

    a wee word o advice to yer there lad; iffn ye be writin a long one, best ye be copying it afore ye try to post, aye!

    I’m sure BB will have the comment box problem solved eventually. In the interim, if you have crafted something that would be tragic to lose: COPY before post attempt

  15. It seems useful, but someone should invent a Handler for handling a Handler. You can’t be too careful.

  16. Can you really use one of these on an ATM? I tried to use the touchscreen on my bank’s ATM one cold morning while I was wearing gloves, and got nowhere, until I took the gloves off and used my bare (unprotected!) fingers.

    I would like the free eyepatch, though. arrrr.

  17. Considering all the germs that float freely in the air (remember those petri dish experiments in Jr. high, where you opened up a sterile petri dish for 10 seconds, then sealed it and watched colonies grow over the next few weeks), and the fact that scientists now suspect that the number (though not the mass) of microbes in the human body are greater than the number of human cells, germophobia is pretty ridiculous.

  18. I’ve seen a fair number of people lose body parts, including faces, to infections. Before the invention of penicillin, people used to die of sepsis from little scratches. People got carbuncles the size of grapefruit. Resistant organisms are on the rise. Science is not keeping up with the microbes, either. There’s a very good chance that in a decade, hospitals will be filled with people dying from resistant forms of staph aureus. Do you know where people are getting these infections? From yoga mats, locker room benches and weight-lifting equipment at the gym. Germophobia is a survival trait. Step away from the doorknob.

  19. yah… I know all too well…. the problem is if all try to move into bubbles and use germicides and antibiotics indiscriminately, the bugs evolve faster than us.

    The grim truth is that some of us must die. Herd immunity, social practices, medical prophylaxis,none of it guarantees all will or even should survive. Where do we draw the acceptable losses line?

    (yeah,I know, on the other side of where I’M standing)

  20. Less germicides, more soap and water. I knew a woman who worked in Egypt on a project to eradicate trachoma. Trachoma is chlamydia of the eye. The eyelids contract and turn inward until the eyelashes scar the cornea to the point of blindness. It’s the leading cause of blindness in the world. After several years of study the miracle cure for trachoma is to wash your face once a day with soap and water, even Nile water.

    Disinfectant wipes and sprays, antibiotics are all creating monsters. What rough beasts, their hour come at last, slouch across your kitchen countertops to be born?

  21. Carbuncles, yeuch! I could give you a link to an illustration, but then everyone would be wanting unicorn chasers. MRSA infections are worse.

  22. You can always tell people who have worked in health care by watching us open a door. We use our butts, our knees, our elbows, our armpits, but never our hands.

  23. Ironically, use of this device might actually be leaving the user more prone to disease. Constant low-level of exposure to pathogens keeps the immune system primed. (Know any nurses? Ever see them down with a cold or flu?)

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