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ToddyGear Wipes Away Screen Woes

By Jim Bray
February 12, 2011

It works wirelessly, hand in hand with your smart phone, portable computer or even your flat panel TV. Yet it doesn't require batteries – or electricity of any kind except, perhaps static.

Not only that but, unlike most of the hand held stuff I write about, if you get it wet it won't give up the ghost in a mighty puff of steam and sparks.

It's the Toddy, what the manufacturer describes as a "smart cloth" that consists of one "rough" surface and one smooth surface that do such a good job of cleaning your screen I'm tempted to sing its praises from the rooftops, except that it's so cold and snowy outside right now that I don't want to leave the word processor.

The Toddy is one of those "better mousetrap" ideas that come along once in a while – a product so simple yet useful you wonder why it took so long for them to make it.

Toddy's Team describes the little wondercloth as "Designed with a durable, plush microfiber cloth on one side and a distinctively patterned silk microfiber on the other" and that both sides are crafted for "Effective, scratch-free cleaning on extremely sensitive surfaces." Which, of course, means it's aimed at smart phone or tablet users – and it's an accessory I try to keep nearby whenever I'm using such a screen because they pick up fingerprints better than a police detective.

The Toddy is supposedly protected with AEGIS Microbe Shield technology, which the Toddy folk describe as both durable and environmentally friendly.

All you do to use it is scrub your device's screen with the rough side (well, perhaps "scrub" is too strong a word), then buff it gently with the smooth side.  The rough side reminds me of a cat's tongue, though it's a lot softer. The soft side is slippery enough that if you made one about two by three feet in size you could use it as a crazy carpet.

According to the Toddy press materials, the average American family owns 24 electronic devices. If they're anything like mine, the average family has more than that. Heck, I have eight screens that are perfect targets for Toddy, and that's just me. Add my wife and kids' stuff and you have a pile of screens!

I can see this being a growth industry for Toddy.

If you're a germophobe with ultra clean fingertips who isn't convinced of the Toddy's value, the "Toddypedia" that is their press kit also claims that germs can live on touch screen devices for anywhere from a day to a month, so you'd better get one if you want to stay alive!

It doesn't really matter anyway because we're always picking up new germs because they're everywhere – and "so far, so good" as far as being "germed" to death is concerned! Heck, if I was worried about that I'd dress in a plastic bag before visiting the supermarket.

Hey, there's a whole new business: plastic bag clothing for when you're out among other people. It could be bigger than hand cleaner!

Anyway, as many who own smart phones will attest, it ain't the cooties on the screen that gross you out; it's the smudges and other alien debris.

And the smart cloth is apparently smart enough to know it needs to come with an antimicrobial coating to protect itself against the wee beasties that contribute to mold, mildew and disgusting stuff like that. As smart as it might be, though, it lay there looking at me blankly when I asked it what two plus two equals.

Toddy's folk also say the cloth is "Naturally hydrophilic" (which means it likes water)  and is there washable. They also say it's stain resistant and so far I've been lucky enough not to have tested that theory. If it's true, I just might sew a bunch of Toddys together and make a pair of pants out of them.

The Toddy folk also claim their creation complies with most manufacturers' recommended cleaning methods and never needs sprays, liquids or disposable towelettes.

ToddySpeaking of Toddy folk, they say that Toddy is actually a real Todd – as opposed to someone with a different name, who merely has tendencies toward being a bit "Toddy". Anyway, this Todd Gabel person was supposedly in a conference hall full of people and their gadgets, and all of them (I assume he checked personally) were covered in filth. It was a sea of grossness that, once the shakes wore off (Okay, I made that part up), inspired him to come up with his better mousetrap.

The result, beyond being an excellent tool, is a cute-looking rag whose soft side comes complete with a lighthearted design (mine have polka dots) to, apparently, "Be every bit as sexy as the gadget they came in contact with."

I never really considered my gadgets sexy, but to each his own. Cars, now. That's sexy!

Hey, maybe the Toddy can get the bugs off my windshield! I somehow doubt it, but perhaps Todd Gabel and his team have more wondrous cloths up their corporate sleeves.

Today's Toddy is available in two sizes, which is great. The smaller one ($14.95) measures  5" x 7" and is not only perfect for your smart phone, but also works great on both my reading and my sun glasses, as well as the lenses of my digital camera and front projection TV. For $16.95, you can get a 9 x 9 inch size that's aimed at monitors and flat screen TV's.

I imagine the Toddy would also work well with an e-book reader. The company says you can even wipe DVD's clean with them, and owners will probably discover plenty of other uses for it. I already have: a digital touch screen photo frame. Toddy took the tacky touches from the screen terrifically.

The Toddy is a great product, and the fact that it's such a simple concept blows me away. It's the free market at its best!

I daresay it won't be long until the world is beating a path to Todd Gabels' door.

Copyright 2011 Jim Bray

Jim Bray's columns are available through the TechnoFile Syndicate.

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