We are seeing hand sanitizing stations everywhere, but hardly anyone seems to be using them. We need to create new habits and we think technology can help to build those new habits.

The project is amongst others inspired by which uses face detection as a trigger. The idea of adding alerts for low supply came from this article:

What it does

It's an automatic IoT based system that nudges people to sanitize their hands when they pass certain checkpoints, such as restaurants, public buildings, public transport etc.

These nudges can be visual, for example with a green/red light or also audible, for example by playing a sound or instructions.

Furthermore, the system alerts staff peer SMS if the sanitizers are running low on supplies.

How I built it

We want to use the IoT platform to which we have privileged access. It comes with zigbee based motion detectors, proximity sensors, vibration sensors, buttons, temperature sensors, lights, buttons etc.

For the messaging we use Twilio and for the small screen we use LaMetric

Challenges I ran into

The initial hand sanitizer didn't work, as the form factor was not suitable to affix sensors. Then I wanted to get an automated hand sanitizer dispenser, but they were out of stock all over Hong Kong. Ordering on would still be possible, but it would arrive too late. After spending half a day running around Causeway Bay and many other shops, I found the Joseph Joseph dispenser that worked.

The second challenge I ran into was that the vibration sensor wasn't suitable to detect usage. I was also thinking of how to identify that the dispenser is empty. The best solution I have come up with for now is to detect if people are using the pump more than 5x which suggests that the bottle is nearly empty.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

A more or less working system after day 1. Video:

On day 2 I mainly spent time editing the explainer video:

A perfectly working prototype within the 72 hours.

What I learned

Always keep it simple. Make sure you have alternative options in terms of tech if you need to act quick. Order early if you need to order online. We don't have same-day delivery everywhere.

What's next for Handsanitizer Checkpoint

Create a tutorial, how everybody can create their own using the Gravio IoT Platform. Roll it out across the world, and potentially extend it also to other sanitizing or preventive activities, not just hands. E.g. shoe sanitizing, mask-wearing, etc.

Built With

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