Germaphobes take note: LG has just invented a high-tech handrail sterilizer

escalator sterilizer
Cathy Yeulet/123RF

LG may be best known for its computers, TVs, and smartphones, but South Korea’s fourth-largest business conglomerate has its fingers in plenty of other pies as well. The latest LG development? A gadget that the company is claiming is the world’s first “Handrail UV LED Sterilizer,” designed to remove germs from the handrails of escalators.

Yes, that’s a long way from Android mobile phones, but it’s no less reliant on some pretty cool tech. LG’s handrail sterilizer skips out on boring solutions, such as hand wipes, to take on the problem of germ-ridden handrails. Instead, it uses ultraviolet LED technology to shoot out UV rays from a fixed position. As the moving conveyor belt passes the device’s target zone, the UV LED Sterilizer kills 99.99 percent of the germs, which accumulate from the thousands of people who have put their hands onto said moving petri dish every single day.

However, despite being capable of obliterating germs, the technology is utterly harmless to the human body since it doesn’t rely on any chemicals or heavy metals.

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This isn’t the first time we’ve written about the disease-killing prowess of ultraviolet light. In the past, we’ve published articles about gadgets like UVe, a Roomba-style cleaning bot which uses low-wavelength ultraviolet light to clean surfaces, and even medical research that uses UV for eliminating cancer cells.

While the technology may not be entirely new, however, LG’s solution is definitely pretty darn neat. For one thing, the sterilizer is around the size of half an A4 sheet of paper, and can be easily installed without having to make any major changes to an existing facility. And in a suave touch, it also doesn’t need to be plugged into mains power since the wireless device itself is powered via energy from the movement of the handrail.

Right now, there’s no announcement concerning how much the Handrail UV LED Sterilizer will cost, but LG notes that the device has already gained the necessary CE certification required by the European Union, and the KC certificate required in South Korea.

Hopefully it won’t be too much longer before it arrives in the United States, and we can rest easy in airports and shopping malls. Or, at least, our hands can.