McDonald’s is installing a new device to clean smartphones


Could we soon see this device in all McDonald’s in France? Hard to say. But still, it would be very useful. In Saitama, Japan, the fast food brand has just installed a device to disinfect its smartphone. It is present in the toilets and is materialized by a small slot next to the sink. Enough to kill two birds with one stone.

During health restrictions, the lack of disinfection of our smartphones was enough to make our barrier gestures almost useless. But UV ray sanitizing devices have never had a breakthrough. Some areas such as airports are equipped with it, but no more. Businesses preferring to use chemical wipes or leave customers alone on this point.

In Saitama, the device used by McDonald’s is particularly well integrated and all you have to do is drop the device into the slot for it to be dragged down and then reassembled, like a CD player. Considering the size of the slot, it should fit most smartphones, large or small. On the other hand, it will not be compatible for thick devices (like the Galaxy Fold).

In addition to a very specific interest with the pandemic, it is important to clean your smartphone regularly as it is a real nest of bacteria. A study by the Initial Washroom Hygiene even concluded, as early as 2011, that a smartphone could be dirtier than a toilet bowl, due to our use everywhere, in transport, on the street, and in the toilets as well. Smartphones protected by a leather shell would even have 17 times more bacteria.

Problem: Our smartphones are so contaminated that they put us at risk of food poisoning and other problems, such as the transmission of a virus. By offering a disinfection device to be worn with (clean) hands, McDonald’s has just put its finger on a point that could please its customers and prove to be of great use, on an international scale.

Is UV disinfection effective?

The answer is yes. Or at least, depending on the exposure time and with adequate power. According to a study by ClearSlate, which manufactures UV disinfectant devices, 20 seconds of exposure would kill 99.978% of MS2 bacteriophages. Hospitals, airlines and hotels use this technique to disinfect their products.

As for the deleterious effects, they are few. Or at least there again, they depend on the exposure time. According to several studies carried out by manufacturers, UV radiation degrades components such as OLED technologies in screens, but only during long periods of exposure, of several minutes.

Smartphone sanitizers

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