Technology & software

Sustainable sanitisation will sway sales for mobile makers

Only 9% of mobile users will definitely stay with their current brand if offered an alternative with built in protection against the harmful bacteria and viruses that thrive on screens.

Consumers made the emphatic call for mobile phone makers to provide germ-free products in a new study of more than 2,000 UK adults by Kastus, when 83% admitted they had become more concerned about germs and viruses since the pandemic started.

81% say permanent antiviral + antibacterial protection should be standard feature

Before taking part in the research, most Brits were unaware of how many harmful viruses and bacteria lurk on their phone screens. Fewer than a third of the 2,000 Britons who took part in the survey (31%) knew that human coronavirus can live on smooth surfaces like mobile phone screens for up to 28 days. But when researchers educated participants on the facts and revealed scientific studies which show that mobile phones typically harbour 10 times more germs than a public toilet seat, mobile shoppers were keen for mobile phone makers to provide a solution.

When told that phone and tablet makers can now manufacture phones with Kastus’ patented built-in surface coating technology to permanently protect their screens against dangerous viruses and bacteria, the overwhelming majority – 81% – said it should definitely or probably be a standard new feature for all new models.

mobile cleaning Embed a sustainable solution at manufacturing for mobile makers, as a third of users never clean their phone

Kastus, which makes surface coatings designed to permanently protect personal devices and public touchscreen displays against dangerous viruses and bacteria, also found that people could be unknowingly infected and transmitting everything from e-coli to staph infections and even Human Coronavirus by ignoring the risks posed by contaminated touch screens, as almost a third of Brits have never once properly cleaned their phone. Yet phone-obsessed Brits pick up their handsets every 12 minutes on average (that’s 27,375 times a year).

Dr Hugh Hayden, infection control specialist, said: “From a hygiene viewpoint, touchscreens have been described as the ‘mosquito of the digital age’ as being vectors of infectious disease. This is compounded by advice on cleaning phones that is unclear at best and impractical to clean when on the go, so it’s no wonder consumers are confused about the guidelines. If regularly touching external shared surfaces in between using your smartphone, the phone screen ideally should be sanitized after every use with the likes of manufacturer-approved disinfectant wipes. But that’s too onerous, and consumers have told us as much in this study. Far better for consumers if smartphone makers simply block the potential spread of harmful bacteria and viruses from screens with a permanent, in-built antimicrobial solution such as that offered by Kastus.”

Darragh O’Connor, VP of Global Marketing at Kastus, said: “We’re now in a high touch world where smartphones harbour harmful bacteria and viruses making them disease vectors. Increasingly consumers want brands to take responsibility for minimising the risks they pose. So it’s no surprise that, as evidenced by the 60 plus switch intent, phone shoppers will switch to those smartphone and tablet brands that offer protection as standard, especially given technology features are less differentiating than ever. Adding Kastus protection is a significant differentiator for smartphone brands to win market share and drive revenue, and that’s why consumer technology brands like Lenovo have already adopted Kastus protection technology into their touchscreen portfolio.

Founded by John Browne, the award-winning Irish nano-technology has developed a globally patented range of 24/7 Antibacterial and Antiviral surface coatings designed to permanently protect touch screen and other glass surfaces against harmful viruses and bacteria. In a high-touch world where we rely every day on public touchscreens and our own personal devices, alongside the increasing risk of infection and cross-contamination from using these same screens, Kastus’ game-changing coating technology offers a unique solution for businesses and consumers alike.