Samsung has introduced its own UV sanitation box (via The Verge) that can sterilize your phone while wirelessly charging it. Initially limited to Thailand, the accessory has now gone on sale in several more countries such as Germany where Samsung is selling it for €58.38 (~$66).
Samsung’s UV sterilizer looks and functions similarly to what we’ve seen so far from startups such as PhoneSoap. The box-shaped device, that faintly resembles miniature hibernation booths from sci-fi flicks, comes equipped with a cradle that is flanked by a set of UV-C bulbs. All you need to do is place your phone inside (or anything else that fits such as wireless earbuds) and in about 10 minutes, your phone should be germ-free.
While ultraviolet radiation has proved effective for sterilization, there are no conclusive studies on its impact on the coronavirus yet. However, experts say, since UV light can kill most bacterias and the coronavirus’ genetic cousin, SARS, it is theoretically capable of eliminating the novel coronavirus. Samsung, in its launch press release, didn’t say whether its sanitation box works against COVID-19.
“The radiation (light is a form of radiation), kills viruses much the same way that other harmful radiation kills things by causing lots of chemical mutations in the RNA or DNA genome of the virus. There’s no question that enough UV-C absorption will kill coronaviruses,” Dr. John Taylor, deputy head (academic) and senior lecturer in Virology School of Biological Sciences at the University of Auckland told Digital Trends in April.
Other than that, Samsung’s UV sterilizer can top up your phone wirelessly even after the sanitation process is complete. However, at 10W, it won’t be as fast as other higher-end wireless chargers.
Since the pandemic hit the world, the demand for sanitation has soared and UV sanitation boxes are no exception. PhoneSoap, which offers UV-based phone sanitation devices in a range of sizes and varieties, said its revenue was 20 times higher last month than the same period in 2019.
At the time of writing, Samsung’s UV sanitizer was not up for sale yet in the United States. We’ve reached out to Samsung for more information on availability and we’ll update the story when we hear back.