Wring

A system designed to reward good handwashing.

What is it?

Wring is a system designed to reward good handwashing.

The Wring system is comprised of a personal ring (“Wring”), a soap dispenser (“Wring Soap”), and a replenishment/reward service (“Wring Rewards”).

How is it used?

The user wears the Wring on her finger, just like a piece of jewelry. When she washes her hands, the Wring detects contact with water and soap, with an indicator turning blue after 20 seconds of handwashing. This indicator tells the user that she has washed her hands well: with soap and for the recommended 20 seconds (source: Unicef Global Handwashing Day Planner’s Guide). When the indicator turns blue, Wring sends a wireless signal to the Wring Soap dispenser to add a point to the user’s Wring Rewards account. The Wring Soap dispenser also keeps track of when the soap needs to be refilled, wirelessly requesting a refill when the time comes. The Wring Rewards service delivers the soap refill, along with a reward which the user can choose based on the points she has accumulated.

The user doesn’t need to interact with the system beyond simply washing her hands with soap and water, as the Wring system operates unobtrusively.

What technologies does it incorporate?

The Wring system incorporates:
1. A water and chemical sensor in the Wring to detect contact with water and Wring Soap
2. A weight sensor in the Wring Soap dispenser to detect when to order a refill
3. A cellular connection from the soap dispenser to the Wring Rewards service to order refills and rewards
4. Kinetic power generation in the Wring to power the water and chemical sensor
5. Solar power generation in the Wring Soap dispenser to power the weight sensor and cellular connection

How does it work?

The Wring is a personal ring that is worn on a finger, like a piece of jewelry. Wring detects when the user’s hands are in contact with water and soap through a water and chemical sensor, and an indicator turns blue after 20 seconds of handwashing. This indicator tells the user that she has washed her hands well: with soap and for the recommended 20 seconds. At that time, the Wring sends a wireless signal to the Wring Soap dispenser to add a point to the user’s Wring Rewards account. The Wring Soap dispenser also keeps track of when the soap needs to be refilled through a weight sensor. When it’s time to refill, the Wring Soap dispenser sends a message through a cellular connection to the Wring Rewards service. The service then delivers the soap refill, along with a reward which the user can choose based on the points she has accumulated.

The user doesn’t need to interact with the system beyond simply washing her hands with soap and water, as the Wring system operates unobtrusively.

Who uses it?

The target user of the Wring is a mother who takes care of a family at home. As the primary caregiver, she may be changing diapers, bathing children, cleaning the home, and also preparing food – all situations where handwashing before and/or after is a key tool to reduce diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, leading causes of child death.

The Wring Rewards service of soap refills and rewarding handwashing may be administered by a partnership between public health systems, who benefit through healthier populations, and soap manufacturers, who will be able to profit through growing sales via increased soap consumption.

Why does it help?

The Wring handwashing system overcomes barriers to good handwashing through an integrated solution:

– Barrier: belief that washing with water only (without soap) is sufficient to clean hands
– Solution: rewards washing hands with both water and soap

– Barrier: not washing with soap long enough to thoroughly clean hands
– Solution: coaches the user into washing hands for the recommended 20 seconds through an indicator

– Barrier: unavailability of soap when needed (soap has run out)
– Solution: automatically delivers soap when needed, so it is always on hand

Because Wring is placed on a finger and functions without user input, it is unobtrusive and fits in with daily life. Through the rewards system, positive reinforcement is used to encourage good habits rather than negative feedback or shaming.


Team

Team's Location

Spain / USA

Team's Occupation

Designer

Team Members

Kaii Tu

Focus Area(s)

Behavior Change

UNICEF Pillar(s)

Health, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)



These pages have been pulled directly from applications submitted to the Wearables for Good Challenge in 2015. They represent the work of the individual teams and have subsequently not been edited.

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