Most sliding patio door handles are pretty straightforward: there’s the handle and the lock, usually a lever or a button. Not much to improve on there, right? Not according to Carbon Design Group. Working with Milgard, the firm designed the SmartTouch handle, which pivots slightly on its mount to unlock and lock as you open and close the door, thereby collapsing a two-step process into one intuitive motion. Pulling back on the handle automatically disengages the lock; pushing the handle away from the door face triggers the lock. Pull to unlock and open, push to close and lock–that’s it.
Carbon collaborated with Milgard’s engineers to use existing internal mechanics, switching out the mating gear for a rack-and-pinion gear, which translates the lateral motion to lock and unlock the door. By doing so, Milgard got a premium door product for the development and tooling costs of making just a new handle. It also meant that Milgard customers could easily upgrade their old doors to the new system.
The SmartTouch recently won a Spark: Pro Award and is recommended by the Arthritis Foundation.