The Great Reopening has arrived. With the exceptions of China and North Korea, every country on earth has now either reopened its borders or announced plans to do so imminently. A consensus has emerged that the global economy cannot recover without tourism and travel.
But with COVID still spreading in many places, the challenge is not only keeping people as safe as possible but making them feel as comfortable as possible. As Max Simonovsky, founder and CEO of hygiene startup SOAPY observes, “it’s essential that governments and administrators now show visible efforts to ensure public trust.”
Launched in 2018 by Simonovsky and friend Alex Orlovsky while both were pursuing MBAs, SOAPY makes and markets the world’s first data-driven hygiene micro-station. The SOAPY, which was inspired by Simonovsky’s son, is a self-contained, stainless steel hand-washing station powered by computer vision, deep learning, and IoT (Internet of Things) technologies. “We turn hand-washing into actionable data science,” Simonovsky says. “We make sure leaders know, Who, When, Where, and How to have clean hands.”
SOAPY’s main applications are public health and education. As the world reopens, Simonovsky says the company is receiving a steady stream of inquiries from airports, museums and amusement parks, among other public, tourist-heavy spaces.
SOAPY’s timing may be perfect, but it wasn’t designed with a global pandemic in mind. Though Simonovksy lives five years into the future, COVID exploded less than a year after the company’s founding. With it came admonishments from public health officials around the world to “wash your hands” vigorously and regularly.
The problem is that, while everyone can count or even learn a song–two of the gimmicks commonly espoused by officials to ensure a good scrubbing–not everyone knows how to wash their hands effectively. SOAPY uses IoT to provide an accurate dose of soap and water, as well as data to provide education and improvement. In 2019, Simonovsky and Orlovksy accepted a Pears Challenge Global Impact Award from the President of Israel. Last year, Red Herring named SOAPY a top 100 disruptive technology.
While washing one’s hands is an age-old ritual, Simonovsky cites five major advantages of using SOAPY:
SOAPY machines operate at the perfect temperature and use lighting cues to assure correct timing. A “perfect wash” tutorial and post-wash data dashboard make hand-washing educational–and fun.
SOAPY validates, scores and reports every step of the process in order to build perfect habits. A “wisdom platform” provides data for individuals and organizations in real time, while custom track tools protect users’ privacy. In addition, SOAPY provides automatic and highly accurate temperature screenings.
Despite being more effective than traditional hand-washing, SOAPY uses 95% less water; 80% less energy; and 60% less soap than would be expected otherwise. The company is committed to only using safe ingredients, and SOAPY stations are manufactured from recyclable materials.
SOAPY’s most unique feature may be the savings calculator, which helps to project a customer’s hard and soft cost savings. Administrators can keep track of water, energy and soap savings in real time.
In just a few years, the SOAPY commitment to conserve and give back has already been recognized by NGOs including UNICEF. Underlining its commitment to making the world a safer place, SOAPY gives away one machine for every 10 sold. Stations are available on the Soapy website store for $3,495, which can be paid in installments.
Founder Simonovsky is confident that his technology is what’s needed to reopen the world both safely and confidently. “If you want to get back to the new normal, you need to have a future with new technology,” he observes. “Soapy brings hand hygiene into the future.”