As hotels try to woo back guests into staying in their rooms once more, the game plan seems to be assuring travelers that the space they would be checking in is clean and virus-free. This is very much evident with the stringent safety and health precautions hotels have put in place since they started re-opening their doors for business after lockdown restrictions.
But aside from the usual safety protocols—checking of guests’ temperature, sanitizing hands, practicing social distancing, and requiring the use of face coverings—there just might be another way to assure guests that they are one step ahead of the virus that causes COVID-19.
That’s uHoo, a device that monitors air quality in a room, detecting levels of harmful chemicals and toxins that guests may be breathing without even realizing it. The uHoo device provides real-time data, alerts, insights, and recommendations on how to reduce or eliminate these threats.
uHoo is a Singapore-based global environmental health platform founded in 2014. It is present in over 40 countries, with strong demand from private homes, governments, schools, hospitals, hotels, malls, kitchens, and offices in North America, Europe, and Asia.
“uHoo would be able to detect the different pollutants in the room and based on this information, provide a risk assessment of the coronavirus, as well as other possible threats, surviving or becoming airborne,” said Dustin Jefferson Onghanseng, co-founder of uHoo.
To be clear, uHoo does not detect the actual presence of the virus. Instead, the device determines if the environment is conducive for the virus or any pollutants to survive and become airborne if they were present. If the environment is conducive, uHoo would be able to guide hotel management and guests on the actions they can take to improve the room’s air quality and reduce the risk.
This could help hotels attract guests if they display the air quality readings or data on a large TV screen, public display, or a tablet. This display can be located anywhere in the room—or even in the lobby area—to show guests or visitors the quality of air they inhale.
“By seeing the data, guests and visitors would be assured that the space they are in is managed properly. It is also a means for hotels to brand themselves or market themselves as healthy and safe. They can utilize uHoo as part of their marketing strategy to bring guests and visitors back. The same applies to offices, factories, and various workplaces to bring employees back to work,” Onghanseng said.
In other words, uHoo helps people see the invisible. And if the location, whether it be a hotel, office, mall, or restaurant, is able to manage their indoor spaces properly with focus on health and safety, people would feel more at ease to go back.
uHoo works its magic by monitoring nine air quality parameters: temperature, humidity, level of carbon dioxide, airborne chemicals and VOCs, particulate matter (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, and air pressure.
“You can’t manage what you don’t measure,” Onghanseng said. “The air we breathe indoors can be up to five times worse than outdoors. It’s easy to assume the air we breathe is clean, but at hotels where many people use the same room, the only way to know the air we breathe is clean is to measure it.”
Onghanseng recommends to have one uHoo device for every 50 to 80 square meters of open space. However, it depends on how granular users want their data to be. Some clients would put one uHoo for every 30 sqm, while others would put one for every 100-120sqm of open space. If there are multiple rooms or walls, more uHoo units would be needed because every room or wall restricts air flow and thus air would vary more from one area to another.
Onghanseng said: “COVID-19 created a lot of fear and anxiety. However, with relevant data and information, hotel management would be able to properly monitor, manage, and take action in keeping their guests and crew members healthier and safer.”