During my ID consultancy days, one of the silliest products I ever worked on was a wall-mounted advertisement holder that dispensed cologne/perfume samples. It was basically a glass frame for printed advertisements (this was the ’90s, no flatscreens back then) and a nozzle at the bottom sprayed cologne or perfume onto your hands. The client planned to install these in bar and nightclub bathrooms, but as you might guess, it never made it to market.

If that client is reading this, maybe they’ll spit their coffee out when they see the following:

It’s roughly the same size and shape as the failed bathroom cologne dispenser, but this being 2020, it’s a “Digital Hand Sanitizer,” an advertisement-running flatscreen that dispenses disinfectant. The developers write:

The Digital Hand Sanitizer pairs a 22-inch HD LCD screen with a sanitizer dispenser, ideal for the rise in public health concerns and public safety.

With its many applications to the outside world, the Digital Hand Sanitizer is ideal for use in offices, malls, restaurants, car dealerships, banks, public transportation stops, public restrooms, grocery stores, hospitals, movie theatres, and retail stores. The display options are endless, from floor plans and directional signs to current flyers, sale signage, and schedules.

I’d say the design flaw here is that you need to stick your hand into an orifice, and I don’t have faith that all of us could do this without touching some part of the inside, which is obviously not ideal for something not meant to transmit germs. (Our silly cologne contraption had the nozzle pointed straight out of the bottom.) You can see in the image below, the model’s hand appears to be contacting the underside of the orifice:

Nevertheless, I’m sure we’ll start seeing these out in the wild. Advertisers will love displaying their messages on something we’ll feel compelled to use, at least until the pandemic is over.

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