Vehicle: Elevator: Control
Simple Elevator Button Sterilizer Design   (+7)  [vote for, against]
With a nod to bs0u0155's idea for UV sterilized lift buttons.

Design elevator buttons similar to a free-spinning trackball. Have the UV sterilizing light behind the button and only come on when the button is pressed. It wouldn't be 100% perfectly sterile at all times but that is a bit unrealistic anyway. Every time the button is used it would tend to rotate a newly soiled surface to the back to be sterilized which has to be an improvement on the current de facto system of them never being sterilized. The floor numbers would be printed on multiple times in a variety of orientations similar to the numbers on a lottery ball. (Or just a label underneath the button).
-- AusCan531, Dec 13 2011

Sanitation apparatus for buttons http://patft.uspto....Can531&RS=AusCan531
My idea is now baked (patented anyway) [AusCan531, Jan 12 2017]

I like it. Very cool idea. [+]
-- Alterother, Dec 13 2011

Or use speech recognition
-- hippo, Dec 14 2011

If you rely on speech recognition to run an elevator, you're going to end up with a whole bunch of Appalachian hillbillies stuck between floors.
-- Alterother, Dec 16 2011

I'm not much of a germapohobe but being watching someone's kid fiddling with elevator buttons had me thinking about sterile buttons just yesterday. really, it did.

I decided on using the knuckle-press method but there has to be a better way. (+)
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Dec 16 2011

Yes, that's really neat.
-- nineteenthly, Dec 16 2011

um or maybe make it out of copper or zinc
-- jmvw, Dec 16 2011

//there has to be a better way// ... and the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation tried it, with unfortunate results.
-- mouseposture, Dec 16 2011

Define "unfortunate" ....

On later models of the USS Enterprise, elevators were speech-activated. That's pretty "non-contact".

Mind you, that relies on users being capable of coherent and intelligble speech, which probably isn't practical north of the 49th Parallel ...
-- 8th of 7, Dec 17 2011

//probably isn't practical north of the 49th Parallel ...//

All of the UK or just London??
-- AusCan531, Dec 17 2011

Ha! Just had mental image of the mayhem ensuing in a speech-controlled elevator where the Muzac wasn't properly vetted to remove all songs with numbers in them. The Beatles "Revolution 9" or the Sinatra/Kingston Trio song "It was a very good year" comes to mind.
-- AusCan531, Dec 17 2011

Just London. They don't speak the language very well there.
-- 8th of 7, Dec 18 2011

This is a surprisingly good idea. [+] for being completely obvious, but the kind of obvious that comes with flashes of brilliance in that they're only obvious after you've seen them.
-- Hive_Mind, Dec 18 2011

popbottle and bungston's comments on halfbakery ideas on the USPTO site prompted me to search my username. Huh, somebody patented my idea a couple weeks ago. Theirs has powered rotation of the buttons rather than manually which seems like a very minor improvement.
-- AusCan531, Jan 13 2017

Silver-plated buttons if you don't mind them getting nicked.
-- not_morrison_rm, Jan 13 2017

I misinterpreted yours as having powered rotation until you said otherwise.
-- notexactly, Jan 13 2017

random, halfbakery