Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Cleanbox Technology, a global equipment-cleaning technology company has retrofitted its ‘CX1’ virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) headset cleaning solution to help medical facilities and first responders stay safe in the global fight to control the spread of Covid-19. The CX1 was originally designed to enable VR and AR venues keep headsets clean, dry, disinfected, and safe for use, but has now been repurposed to also clean masks potentially contaminated with the Covid-19 virus. The solution has already been donated for use in several hospitals across the U.S. as well as in hospitals in Canada, Mexico, and Germany.
The CX1 system employs medical-grade ultra-violet (UVC) light and super-hydrophobic nanotech coatings that repel fluids and prevent them from seeping into masks, as well as an air system that removes detritus and any wetness remaining at the surface of the mask. The user simply places the mask inside the device, closes the door, and presses the start button to activate a 60-second cleaning and drying cycle that eliminates bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) wireless connectivity enabled by Nordic’s nRF52832 System-on-Chip (SoC) allows changes to be made to specific parameters in the cleaning cycle—such as extended cleaning cycles or longer air bursts—via the iOS-compatible Cleanbox app on a Bluetooth 4.0 (or later) smartphone or tablet. Such updates are performed by Cleanbox Technology service technicians as part of the ongoing system servicing and maintenance process.
In addition to the CX1 retrofit, the company is also fast-tracking development of a product that will allow users to clean multiple masks at once. The ‘CleanDefense™’ solution is intended to clean masks repeatedly through the day in between patient exposure and emergency responses, and is currently undergoing dosage tersting in a biosafety level 3 lab against SarsCoV-2 (Covid-19). The lightweight and mobile device can be set at multiple stations across hospitals, fire departments, police stations, dispatch centers, and nursing homes, for example. As with the CX1, CleanDefense has a short cleaning cycle, making it quick and easy to use after each patient visit. The purpose of designing CleanDefense for continuous use throughout the day is to reduce viral load build up and minimize contagion cross-contamination opportunities.
Nordic’s nRF52832 multiprotocol SoC combines a 64MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M4F processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5.2, ANT™, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF protocol software) featuring -96-dB RX sensitivity, with 512kB Flash memory and 64kB RAM. The SoC is supplied with Nordic’s S132 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 5-certifed RF software protocol stack for building advanced Bluetooth LE applications. The S132 SoftDevice features Central, Peripheral, Broadcaster and Observer Bluetooth LE roles, supports up to twenty connections, and enables concurrent role operation..
“Other types of mask cleaning options require the export of hazardous waste materials, as well as chemical, liquid or heat decontamination solutions,” says Amy Hedrick, CEO and Co-Founder of Cleanbox Technology. “CleanDefence will allow continuous cleaning throughout the day and safe storage of individual masks at the end of a day, without the use of chemicals that could remain in the fabric of the mask, and without risking the structure of the mask by applying heat or liquids.”