Healthy Hand Washing: How Technology Improves Health and Safety

With people on edge and entire countries on lockdown due to fears of COVID-19, experts continue to advise people to wash their hands as an important way to remain healthy.

Fortunately, advancements in technology have made hand washing, particularly in public facilities, more convenient.

A decade ago, innovative companies initiated the “Touch Free Restroom” trend but the available technologies (such as IR and Capacitive sensors) resulted in less than perfect user experience.

How many times have you put you hands under a faucet, soap or towel dispenser and found yourself flailing about trying to get some reaction? These issues were the result of limitation of the IR and capacitive sensors as well as overall system design shortcomings.

Modern systems have addressed the most common issues, including interference with other surfaces (the distance from a sink surface or countertop), the texture and color of the skin, as well as ambient lighting conditions.

Today’s best in class sensing systems include features and functionality that automatically adapt to the ambient lighting conditions and can accommodate a wide range of skin colors. They can even sense the physical installation and self-calibrate to adjust for the distance of objects around them. More advanced systems also utilize IoT connectiveness and include energy on the refill which eliminates the need to ever change a battery. These features greatly improve the installation and servicing of these devices and greatly improve sustainability.

The result is a healthy handwashing experience without the frustration. Getting the right amount of water, soap, sanitizer towel or hot air drying when you need it is now a reality. No more waiting. No more waving your hands in some sort of silly dance move while you hope to get a reaction.

Unfortunately, a lot of the earlier technology systems are in use, yet as facilities modernize, they are seeing the benefits of improved user experience, as well as the sustainability improvements related to reduced energy, water, soap, sanitizer and paper consumption. Providing the restroom user what they need to effectively wash their hands, when they need it, greatly improves the healthy hand washing experience, which will help reduce the spread of infectious diseases.

For more information about current sensor, energy management and IoT technology contact SmartWave Technologies.

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