Finnish supermarkets are testing hands-free doors

Shopping at brick and mortar stores just got a little more hands-free.

A Finnish supermarket installed hands-free door handles on its freezers. Shoppers can use their forearms to hook onto a lever that pulls the door open. The invention comes in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Fortum, a Finnish energy company, created the aptly named “Fortum lever.” Each handle is made of recycled plastic and printed using 3D technology

“The most important goal is to reduce disease infections and make people’s businesses safer. Together with our partner, we found a simple solution that makes it possible to reduce the risk of infection from the surfaces of public spaces,” Fortum brand manager Jussi Mälkiä told Finnish publication Markkinointi & Mainonta

The levers are being tested in select Alepa supermarkets in Helsinki. More could potentially roll out countrywide in upcoming weeks, according to the Helsinki Times

“I think we need our customers’ feedback first, then we could make decisions [if we make more in] our other shops,” Satu Kattilamaki, the responsibility manager of the Helsinki cooperative society Hok-Elanto, told NowThis.

Many Instagram users were intrigued by the hands-free door handles.

“We should have had these anyway. Same with the foot pedals on bathroom doors,” one user said on Instagram.

“I need this for my house,” another person said.

“Wow! Coool. That should be in every supermarket,” a different user said.

If you enjoyed this story, check out this handy tool that helps you open doors without touching anything.

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