Japan’s Ginza district brings innovative facility to clean hands, phones in street

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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WOSH Machine
Ginza district in Japan has introduced handwashing and smartphone sterilizing centers.

The COVID-19 outbreak has made several changes in our life, one such change is the necessity of being hygienic. The pandemic has created a huge need of sanitizing almost everything that we come in contact with.

The excessive requirement of maintaining hygiene has paved the way for many innovations in handwashes to small equipment for sanitizing things. Now, the popular shopping district in the capital of Japan, Ginza has introduced handwashing and smartphone sterilizing centers by collaborating with a startup in the country.

WOTA Corp, a Japanese startup that aims to revolutionize access to clean water and better hygiene has set up 20 centers of WOSH machines near Ginza stores by associating with the district authority focusing to encourage the shoppers to wash their hands to curb the spread of the pandemic.

WOSH Machine
The machine also has a device to clean the smartphones with 20-30 seconds of ultraviolet light exposure.

One interesting fact about the WOSH machines is that they don’t need any connection to running water or they don’t use fresh and wastewater tanks. Instead, the facility recycles the water through a three-stage process including membrane filtration, chlorine and deep ultraviolet irradiation.

The facility also has a device to clear the smartphones with 20-30 seconds of ultraviolet light exposure while users are washing their hands. As studies have proved that a smartphone could carry the virus if not properly sanitized, if phones are not kept clean then it could nullify the benefit of handwashing.

WOTA Corp had already been developing the machine with an aim to eliminate the long queues at restrooms when the COVID-19 crisis hit early this year, Chief Executive Yosuke Maeda.

“Amid the impact of COVID-19, we thought we had to implement this as soon as possible. So we sped up development and got things moving to have it in December in time for the third wave of the coronavirus,” Maeda stated.

On average 20 liters of water the machine will provide around 500 washes, while the filters should be changed after about 2,000 and it needs a connection to a power supply.

WOTA has now started shipment of nearly 4000 units of WOSH machines within Japan. The company targets to step into the international markets by next year, as many inquiries are coming from the United States.

“We thought if it had the smartphone sterilization function, maybe people who never wash their hands will start doing so,” Maeda added.