If you weren’t a clean freak before the Covid-19 pandemic, you’re probably more aware of hygiene now.
World Health Organization organizations at the National Environment Agency in Singapore have urged the public to keep their environment clean as the first line of defense against the virus.
As we frequently sanitize our hands and wash them for the duration of two “ Happy Birthday ” songs, we might forget that there are millions of germs lurking on the items we carry every day – like our smartphones.
It’s quite shocking, but scientists at the University of Arizona have found that cell phones carry 10 times more germs than most toilet seats.
So how do we keep our phones clean? Local startup Zygienic provides us with an easy way to clean our phones.
Helping S’poreans stay safe
Co-founded by Bryan Wang, who is also the founder of the snack start-up WOKWOK, specializing in shrimp and potato chips with truffles, Zygienic’s flagship product is an ultraviolet (UV) phone disinfectant.
When Covid-19 hit, Bryan saw an opportunity to adapt. As the world struggled with the virus, he thought it would be great to “offer products that would help people stay safe.”
It was then that Bryan and his partner began to search for effective ways to protect people from germs. The team identified cleaning cell phones as an under-recognized pain point.
It turns out they hit the nail on the head. Since their launch in Singapore in June, sales have been “beyond expectations”.
UV disinfectant for phones: how it works
Users can simply place their phone on the UV phone disinfectant, press the button to start the disinfection process and let the UV light do all the work.
After 15 minutes, an integrated timer will notify you when the disinfection is complete. 99% of germs in your phone will be eradicated.
Other notable features of the phone disinfectant include the ability to charge phones during the disinfection process.
To ensure that users can follow all important notifications for 15 minutes, the device has a translucent screen instead of a closed cover.
Besides mobile phones, the product is also large enough to be used for everyday items, from reusable masks to keys.
UV light widely used worldwide
The use of UV light to kill germs is not new and has already been deployed as part of Covid-19 prevention measures.
The Singapore government plans to deploy more than 200 locally manufactured robots to disinfect surfaces using UV rays in shopping malls, transportation and healthcare by the end of 2020.
UV Covid-19 prevention measures have also gone around the world. In Shanghai, the interior and exterior of buses are fitted with UV lamps that can kill 99.9% of germs on the bus within five to seven minutes.
According to Allied Market Research, the global UV disinfection equipment market is expected to reach a value of US $ 3.4 billion by 2026.
Bryan and his team saw these developments as an opportunity to innovate in consumer goods as well. After much trial and error, the team managed to integrate UV technology into a portable device for mobile phones.
Similar to these robots, Zygienic’s phone sanitizer emits ultraviolet-C (UV-C) light which can disrupt the DNA of microorganisms, preventing them from performing vital cellular functions.
In the future, the team will work on a range of products “that will be useful to everyone in the current era we live in.”
Featured image credit: Zygienic via Facebook
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