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Just say, “JalapeNO!”

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Professor Kim Binsted has created an app to stop you from touching your face amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The JalapeNO! app works for the Fitbit Ionic. The device will vibrate anytime your hand comes near your face.

“I hope it will be a fun way for people to practice good discipline when it comes to hygiene and face touching,” Binsted said.

Jalapeno app on Fitbit

She is currently teaching a class on Design for Mobile Devices in the information and computer sciences department, but designed JalapeNO! as a personal project. According to Binsted, on average, office workers touch their faces 23 times per hour.

Binsted said, “What we often do is we brainstorm around a problem and think about how could mobile devices help with that problem?”

JalapeNO! for Fitbit Ionic is currently available for $0.99 at Next up, Binsted is developing a version of JalapeNO! for the Apple Watch.

If her name sounds familiar, it may be because she is the principal investigator leading the Hawaiʻi Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) project. That research program, funded by NASA, operated five long-duration planetary surface missions on the Mars-like flank of Mauna Loa to investigate crew composition and cohesion.

—By Kelli Trifonovitch

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