Dan Barnes told the International CES 2014 in Las Vegas, billed as more than an electronics tradeshow, that he and Wesley LaPorte developed PhoneSoap which uses UV-C light -- electromagnetic radiation that's used in hospitals -- for sanitization while the cellphone is being recharged.
"A little over a year ago my cousin, Wes, and I were watching TV when we saw a report stating that our phones have 18 times more harmful bacteria than the handle on a men's room public toilet. We were shocked! We started to research online to debunk this report, and we only found more proof," Dan Barnes said on the PhoneSoap website.
"We saw reports saying that besides the flu, researchers have found staph, E. Coli, and MRSA -- methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus -- living on our cell phones! We also found out the reason that our cell phones are so susceptible to bacteria is because of the warmth they radiate -- especially our smart phones."
Barnes and LaPorte said trying to clean the electronic phones is difficult since soap, chemicals, liquids or heat could damage the phone.
"Then, one day, Wes was in his cancer research lab at school when he realized he was surrounded by the answer! In his lab they used UV-C light. We realized this would be the fastest, most powerful way to kill any virus, germs and bacteria living on electronic devices. Our phones are filthy, and in order to maintain a healthy society in today's tech-centric lifestyle, we need a fast, efficient, and safe way to clean them; and that is how PhoneSoap was born!," the cousins said.
PhoneSoap's small box is ideal for smartphones, but it will also accommodate cellphones smaller than 6-inches by 4 inches and about three-quarters of an inch.
"This short wavelength of light penetrates the cell wall of the bacteria and disrupts its DNA, effectively killing it. It is 99.9 percent effective in killing bacteria and viruses. Best of all it is completely safe. The UV-C light is only on for 3 to 5 minutes at a time and there is no heat or liquid involved so there is no risk of damaging your phone," Barnes and LaPorte said.
"There is a UV-C light on the top and on the bottom of the box so that the UV rays surround your phone for complete sanitization."