A California couple launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund UviCube, an appliance that can zap 99.9 percent of the bacteria on bottles, toys, cell phones and almost anything else that babies put in their mouths.
Anyone who has an infant or toddler knows the battle: once they can reach, everything goes into their mouth. While it would be impossible to disinfect everything a young one touches (and some would argue not always necessary), there are parents who are committed to providing an ultra-safe, germ-free-as-possible home environment. Some, like UviCube co-founder Autumn Colayco, are faced with the task because their child (due to illness or immunity issues) must have a highly antiseptic environment.
Colayco and her husband Ben worked in the video game industry in Asia; when their daughter Callie was born with a heart problem, they came face-to-face with providing her ultra-clean bottles and nipples. Overseas, UV light technology is more prevalent and accepted as a bacteria killer. Colayco, as a first-time mom with a vulnerable child, was relived to find these hygienic devices. But upon returning to the U.S., the couple realized that there was a need stateside for a device that could sanitize bottles, nipples, pacifiers as well as other items (like teething toys and cell phones).
“The ability to sanitize with UV light made things easier for me,” Colayco said in an interview with Not Impossible Now. “We’re trying to protect our children the best way we know how.”
For those that are concerned with sanitizing, the square UviCube is one answer. The countertop device houses a reflective stainless steel inner chamber that allows UV light to be reflected in all directions, effectively killing 99.9 percent of exposed germs with the touch of a button.
Engineered with a universal power supply, the UviCube is designed to work in other countries, providing a low-tech way to make children safer.
Traditionally, parents who want to sterilize bottles need to steam them with boiling water. UviCube eliminates that process and the stylish box can store items until they are needed. “Set it and forget it,” Colayco explained of the push-button “hassle free” system.
As today’s kids are invariably drawn to electronics — remote controls and cell phones that their caregivers hold — the UviCube’s low wattage doesn’t hurt these handheld items but does sanitize them. Small toys, baby books and even mom’s make-up brushes can also be made 99.9 percent bacteria-free.
“Our next step, is to make the product commercially available, focusing on home use,” Colayco said of the Kickstarter campaign (ends March 23), which will help get the product into production.
It’s taken more than two years for the Irvine, California-based couple to develop, prototype and test the product. While commercial applications do exist (think of all those hotel room remote controls!), the team is focusing on the home market with shipments to begin in June.
Parents love it, finds Colayco, pointing out that all the mobile gadgets in our daily lives requires bringing convenient, precautionary sanitation into the modern age. Colayco compares the UviCube to other preventive equipment that parents take for granted.
“We think of it the same as putting on a bicycle helmet or getting a flu shot,” she said. While people might still get the flu, the risk is minimized. “UviCube won’t prevent illness, but if it prevents one doctor’s visit, then there’s a benefit.”
Top photo courtesy of UviCube