This little black box cleans your hands with plasma gas

A technology being developed by a variety of laboratories utilizes plasma gas to clean hands and kill germs quickly and effectively — even drug-resistant strains, such as MRSA, or obnoxious repeat offenders such as Athlete's Foot. (Maybe you should get your own box if you're going to be doing that, though.)

The idea of plasma gas may have you thinking twice about sticking your hand in this box, but at room temperature and pressure and in the controlled environment its in, it can get your hand — from your skin to under your fingernails — entirely sterilized in under four seconds. It's so effective, in fact, that researchers found it could get rid of said Athlete's Foot without the patient ever having to remove a sock.

The technology is geared toward hospitals, hotels and the service industry, where cleanliness is key. Plasma-cleaning itself isn't new as it's been used to sterilize medical instruments for years, but to use it on human tissue several advancements in both the way plasma gas is handled and the technology behind industrial hand sanitizers had to be made.

In the future, the plasma gas sanitizer could open up new areas elsewhere, such as being used in air conditioners to purify air. In other words, get ready to see all those ion air purifiers at Sharper Image replaced by plasma ones.

Via NYT