SafeCode could reduce the risk of infection via packages and shipments; prototype is ready for demonstration
A new weapon in the war on coronavirus is on the way. Leading health creative agency The Bloc has developed SafeCode, a unique device concept which fuses a barcode scanner with UV-C light technology proven to destroy dangerous viruses and bacteria, and is expected to do the same to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The inventors were inspired by Tesla, which has provided a free license to utilize its battery design patents, to further the electric car market for all. Similarly, The Bloc is working with BizSys, an engineering and design firm based in Brazil, to make detailed specifications available without cost or licensing fees of any kind. BizSys has already expressed interest in manufacturing SafeCode and has created a working prototype based on The Bloc’s design concept. Please view this short video to see SafeCode in action:
“People are terrified of getting infected through boxes that are being delivered on a daily basis to their homes. We knew there had to be a way to solve this problem. We want everyone to have access to SafeCode and we’ll make the specifications and plans available to anyone who wants it,” explained Bernardo Romero, chief creative officer at The Bloc, which created SafeCode.“This represents the culmination of the reason The Bloc was founded twenty years ago – be great to do good.”
With most countries around the world enforcing social distancing and other restrictions in order to slow the transmission of coronavirus, many are now relying on deliveries to procure everything from groceries to needed household staples. However, a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that the virus was detectable for up to three days on some surfaces and 24 hours on cardboard. This creates a real risk – not only for consumers who receive packages, but for warehouse workers, delivery people, and those at every step of the supply chain.
SafeCode combines two existing technologies – UV-C light and barcode detection – in order to significantly reduce the risk of transmission while packages are being shipped. The Bloc’s concept also integrates a new double scanning process to cover all surfaces on a package and a delayed scan to facilitate the cleansing.
The aim is to kill the coronavirus before it ever makes it through the front door, after just a few seconds of exposure to UV light. The product also has utility far beyond the current crisis – since the UV technology it utilizes is proven to destroy numerous kinds of viruses, bacteria and other pathogens.
According to Science Magazine, a publication of the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science), UV light is a highly effective and widely accepted way to kill microbes, since the light “disrupts the molecular bonds that hold together microbial genetic material or proteins.” UV-C light is considered safe for surface protection by the FDA. However, it is recommended that workers carefully adhere to safety protocols including wearing gloves to avoid exposure to UV-C rays.
“To tackle the coronavirus crisis we need to think outside the box – and we’ve literally done that with SafeCode, which delays barcode scanning enough to sanitize the box surface,” said Prodeep Bose, EVP, Growth & Innovation of The Bloc. “Our goal is simple – encourage broad adoption of this design, so we protect the most lives possible. With that in mind, we are foregoing intellectual property rights or profits from the sale or licensing of this concept. We hope that organizations like Fedex, UPS, Amazon and USPS will adopt SafeCode and set new standards for bio-safety.”
“The SafeCode scanner, with its easy-to-use UV-C light scanning technology, will be a life-saver for us,” explained Glen Miner, CEO of Nature’s Distribution, a leading manufacturer, distributor and fulfillment center for thousands of natural products across the globe. “We process thousands of packages per day and are constantly looking for ways to keep our customers and employees safe. SafeCode will help ensure that our employees and customers don’t pick up any unwanted bacteria or viruses from packages they come in contact with. The world needs more innovative ideas like this one to stop the unnecessary spread of diseases like COVID-19.”