Samsung is trying to encourage better hygiene with a new Hand Wash application for its various wearable devices. The app is now available through the Galaxy Store, and is compatible with Gear S3, Gear Sports, Galaxy Watch, Galaxy Watch Active, and Galaxy Watch Active2 devices.
The Hand Wash app is essentially a notification system that will send alerts to users to remind them to wash their hands at regular intervals. Samsung advises customers to wash their hands at least six to ten times a day, citing a 2020 University College London study that found that people who washed their hands with that much frequency had lower rates of infection. The app will ultimately let users set their own notification schedules, but it will display a target number that indicates how many more times they need to wash their hands in order to reach that goal.
The app also includes a countdown timer to ensure that users wash their hands properly (and not just frequently). To that end, users can tap and swipe their watch to start the timer, which will give the wearer 25 seconds to apply soap and wash their hands in accordance with the World Health Organization’s 20-second guidelines.
If the user washes their hands before a scheduled session (as they might if they use the bathroom), they can tap the “Wash Now” button to disable their next alarm. The app will then monitor daily and weekly results to let users track their handwashing progress over time.
People have become more aware of the importance of hand washing since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, largely because good personal hygiene has been highlighted as one of the most effective countermeasures against contagion. As a result, more companies are starting to release products that encourage public health. For example, Fujitsu modified its Actlyzer technology to use gesture recognition to make sure people wash their hands correctly.
Meanwhile, Samsung is also currently working with Mastercard to develop a new mobile debit card.