New solution makes fingerprints “invisible”

For countless parents and Felix Ungers out there, fingerprints are the bane of today’s stainless-steel and touchscreen-based kitchen.

As any homemaker, appliance retailer or majap maker will tell you, stainless finishes are as sleek and desirable as touchscreens are cool, but they’re also magnets for the constant little reminders that children, and the occasional Oscar Madison adult, cohabit here.

Manufacturers have responded with a host of smudge-resistant coatings and faux-stainless finishes, as have glassmakers with oleophobic glazes.

But while most film applications make it easier to remove fingerprints, NBD Nanotechnologies, a Boston-based coatings business, is coming at the problem from an entirely different angle. The company’s new InvisiPrint solution changes the “wettability” — or degree of oil interaction — on a metal or glass surface, essentially rendering fingerprints invisible.

As CEO Miguel Galvez explained, “Most anti-fingerprint solutions utilized today are coatings that, because of their limited ability to change surface properties, only make it easier to clean fingerprints from a surface — not diminish their appearance.”