Open source barcode scanner design uses UV light to disinfect packages

April 10, 2020 //By Rich Pell
Open source barcode scanner design uses UV light to disinfect packages
Health creative agency The Bloc says it has developed and is freely giving away a unique device concept that fuses a barcode scanner with ultraviolet-C (UVC) light technology proven to destroy dangerous viruses and bacteria.

The SafeCode scanner , says the agency, could reduce risk of infection - including from COVID-19 - from packages and shipments. According to a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine, the coronavirus was detectable for up to three days on some surfaces and 24 hours on cardboard.

This creates a real risk, says the company, not only for consumers who receive packages, but for warehouse workers, delivery people, and those at every step of the supply chain.

"People are terrified of getting infected through boxes that are being delivered on a daily basis to their homes," says Bernardo Romero, chief creative officer at The Bloc. "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."

SafeCode developers say they were inspired by Tesla, which has provided a free license to use 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.

SafeCode combines UVC light and barcode detection in order to significantly reduce the risk of transmission while packages are being shipped. The 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, says the company, 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 beyond the current crisis since the UV technology it uses is proven to destroy numerous kinds of viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens.

"To tackle the coronavirus crisis we need to think outside the box – and we've literally done that with SafeCode, which delays

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