Pensioner from near Bedford hopes invention will stop spread of coronavirus

The device will give off a beep if you try to touch your face
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As a Bedford lab is awarded £1million to develop a rapid coronavirus test kit, one 82-year-old has come up with his own invention to stop it from spreading.

Colin Calvert, from Ampthill, has invented the Touch Less - a device you strap to your head and hands.

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"I have always been into product design," he said. "My brother is a GP and he mentioned washing your hands regularly helps prevent the spread of coronavirus - but that if you touch your face, it can transfer the virus."

Colin Calvert's invention, the Touch Less (Model: Patricia Lyall)Colin Calvert's invention, the Touch Less (Model: Patricia Lyall)
Colin Calvert's invention, the Touch Less (Model: Patricia Lyall)

He is proposing the public wear the Touch Less on their heads, with a proximity sensor to both of your hands. So that when you raise your hands to touch your face, it beeps.

"My Touch Less concept comprises a compact digital module on the forehead, fitted to an elastic strap around the head - or fitted on the throat by a necklace type of strap.

"There are two small transmitters, each fixed by a wrist strap. These activate a warning tone from the module if a wrist is lifted to within a set distance from the module.

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"The warning tone can also be operated by an integral timer as a reminder to wash hands - and can be turned off remotely during meals. Tone volume and pitch are adjustable."

Colin, a playwright, who has has several technical patents under his belt, is hoping someone else will take on the engineering of his invention.

"It's a free idea. I do not have any financial interest at all," said Colin who has worked with Cranfield University in the past.

"It took me five minutes to come up with idea. Someone else can develop it."

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When asked whether people might feel ridiculous wearing the device, Colin said: "No more than wearing a face mask which are not very effective. They are terrible and it's just the trendy thing to do.

"It's all about training people. Many people scratch nose, rub their eyes by habit and often without realising they do it."