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The idea for Scratchband was planted a long, long time ago when I heard a radio story about members of a rock band who were trying to reduce how often they got sick by not touching their faces. It was the first time I’d heard that touching your face was a common way to spread disease. I tried several times to break the habit of touching my face, but failed miserably every time. It seemed impossible to stop.

Then COVID hit and suddenly I was motivated to stop touching my face like never before. I thought a rubbery wristband would be just the thing because it would allow you to easily reach all of your face while not getting dirty when I shook hands, opened doors, or pushed a grocery cart. I searched for a “don’t touch your face” wristband and that didn’t exist, so I started looking for any old wristband that might be a good substitute. I couldn’t find one of those either.

With some humble 3D modeling skills and an entry-level 3D printer, I started designing my own device and battling with my printer to actually print it. After generating a frustrating pile of failed attempts, I finally got a somewhat-functioning approximation of what I had in mind and started wearing it. I loved it immediately. It’s presence helped to serve as a reminder to not touch my face and it was an awesome substitute for my hands.

I’ve never really invented anything before and certainly never tried to bring any product to market, but this just felt too right to keep to myself. I sincerely hope it’s as helpful to you as it has been to me.

Robert W. Prince
Inventor, Scratchband

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