Samsung has announced a new 10W wireless charger that tops up your phone’s battery while sterilizing the device using UV-C light. The company says the ultraviolet light can kill 99 percent of bacteria and germs, though marketing materials don’t mention whether it destroys the novel coronavirus responsible for the current global pandemic.
According to The Verge, the announcement comes at a time when people are particularly worried about the spread of COVID-19, and products that claim to clean your phone and stop the virus are on the rise.
But, from a scientific perspective, these products cannot guarantee safety, and they are no substitute for washing your hands, wearing a mask, and observing social distancing.
According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, UV light can “probably” kill the novel coronavirus based on the fact it can destroy other coronaviruses. But, as CNET notes, there is a lack of published peer-reviewed studies about the effect of UV light on the specific virus that causes COVID-19.
Samsung says its dual UV lights take 10 minutes to sterilize your items from the top and bottom, after which they automatically turn off to avoid damaging your device. However, even after the UV lights have turned off, the wireless charger will continue to supply 10W of power.
Samsung says the sterilizer’s internal compartment can fit any device up to 196 x 96 x 33 mm in size, so that will include most phones with a screen size of up to seven inches.