With recreational travel a thing of the past (but hopefully will return in the near future), many travel-oriented companies have had to come up with new ways to stay afloat. Talonport, maker of stylish travel tags and other accessories, has launched the Talontag. It’s a “flip out design contactless door opener keychain safe touch tool.”
It’s actually a fairly clever idea. I’ve seen countless “safe touch tools” that are pretty worthless. All they do is transfer the virus from a potentially-infected surface to wherever you put the tool when you’re done (pocket, purse, etc). The Talontag is the first I’ve seen that is smart enough to enclose the business bits inside a case.
Since the start of the pandemic there’s been a deluge of companies selling cheap metal and plastic hooks so you don’t have to touch potentially-contaminated surfaces. They’re all fairly useless, as covered in the Wirecutter’s You Don’t Need That Brass Touch Tool You Saw on Instagram article (full disclosure, I’m an editor at Wirecutter, though I didn’t work on that story).
There are two main issues. The first is that while copper and brass, the usual materials of the hooks, are technically antimicrobial, it takes several hours to kill viruses and bacteria. As in, it’s not instant. So if the tool touches something with the virus, you’re just going to transfer that to a place you might not think is contaminated. At least when you’re using your hands you’ll know not to touch your face (hopefully) because your hands are gross. Use a tool, put that tool in your pocket, and now your pocket has potentially become a source of infection when you think you’re in the clear because you didn’t touch the potentially-infected surface.
Which brings is back to the Talonport Talontag No Touch Tool.
The tool, as you can see in the pictures, encloses the brass hook portion inside a stylish metal case. You flip it out for use and flip it back when done, all without touching the potentially-contaminated end. It can hook doors and with its soft tip interact with any kind of button or screen. Most of the edges of the aluminum case are curved to make it pocket friendly, while one is just sharp enough to help you open packages.
Being a travel tag company, there’s one other aspect. You can register with Talonport and if you ever lose the No Touch Tool, and any attached keys on the keyring, the person who finds it can enter a code and you’ll be notified. That’s a nice touch (pun intended).
Still Wash Your Hands
This puts another layer between you and a potentially-contaminated surface but it is not a magical shield. You should still keep your hands away from your face, and wash them often (and wear a mask!). The No Touch Tool is just another small piece in an overall system of protection.
Is it for everyone? No, but I can see it giving a little extra piece of mind for those of us who could be severely affected by COVID.
After a successful Kickstarter, the No Touch Tool is available on their website now and will eventually be on Amazon as well.
Talontag No Touch Tool: $32