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Hardware Science

FDA Approves Self-Sanitizing Keyboard 185

jfruhlinger writes "Deep down, most people know that the germiest thing they touch all day is the thing they're touching all day: their keyboard. But what, if anything, can be done about it? A couple of former Microsoft hardware guys have launched a keyboard that sterilizes itself via ultraviolet light. While the FDA has signed off on it, tests show that the UV only kills about two-thirds of the germs living in it, and that it still needs to be cleaned by hand."
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FDA Approves Self-Sanitizing Keyboard

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  • by doug141 ( 863552 ) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @01:32AM (#38592870)
    the UV tolerant bugs evolving on this thing.
  • $900?! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rgbrenner ( 317308 ) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @01:34AM (#38592884)

    It's $900?! Geez.. Why don't I just buy new keyboards every 3 months instead

  • So... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <mashiki@ g m a> on Thursday January 05, 2012 @01:36AM (#38592894) Homepage

    So is this going to kick into the new phase of products that help create resistances like tricloscan [] does [] now? And I'm being lazy, there's already a few hundred studies on the links of this. I'm still waiting for people to get it through their head that either we're filthy dirty creatures, living in a filthy dirty environment. And if you're going to sanitize an area, you need to be 100% sure you're getting everything. Otherwise you're simply kicking into darwin mode, and promoting survival instincts for various 'bugs'.

  • by Jake73 ( 306340 ) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @01:41AM (#38592922) Homepage

    Why use UV? Why not build a waterproof keyboard that gets sprayed with a disinfectant each time it is retracted? It could be quickly dried and the disinfectant recycled.

    For a lower-cost keyboard, I could see UV being an advantage. But for $900, you could do much better.

  • by plover ( 150551 ) * on Thursday January 05, 2012 @01:42AM (#38592926) Homepage Journal

    That which doesn't kill me makes me stronger. Of course, that which doesn't kill the bugs makes them stronger, too. So will the stronger bugs will make me ever more disease resistant, or just kill me?

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @01:59AM (#38593034)

    That said I did used to clean the key covers for my old Model M with vodka every once in a while.

    I'd rather leave the keyboard alone and just disinfect my insides every so often - although I prefer gin rather than vodka.

  • Re:So... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 05, 2012 @02:04AM (#38593072)

    there is a difference that you're ignoring here. You're talking about an anti-bacterial drug resistance, which is a terrible, tough thing to deal with. Those fundamentally target only anti-bacterial cells based off of the certain cell structure. It means that it's very effective at killing only the bad cells, and it leaves our bodies alone. UV (and say, alcohol based hand sanatizers) is a very powerful anti-bacterial, because UV radiation is very damaging at the cellular level, regardless of whether or not it is healthy. This is fine. We cannot use these treatments to help keep us healthy internally. It would be like using bleach (also very effective against germs) inside our system. So lets uses these external systems which would destroy us internally, and keep the hardcore antibiotics for when we actually get very sick.

  • by aaronb1138 ( 2035478 ) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @02:11AM (#38593102)

    That is exactly what I was thinking. All metals have significant antibacterial properties in pure form due to electron freedom. Stainless steel is similarly naturally antimicrobial.

    Since they are using UV, I hope they had the good sense to use a titanium dioxide finish on it as well, since that massively boosts UV efficacy. Actually titanium dioxide has the ability to actually clean small quantities of finger grease and dirt from the surface as well.

    The best approach would use a micro spattering of TiO2 (think polka dots smaller than most bacteria) on stainless steel or copper alloys with waterproof keys and construction. Once a month, throw it in the commissary dishwasher to remove dirt and grease which give the little germs homes.

    As others have pointed out, the price for this model is ridiculous as well.

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner