Carlo Ratti’s Pura-Case uses "ozone power" to sanitise clothes

Italian studio Carlo Ratti Associati has designed a concept for a battery-powered wardrobe purifier that uses ozone to remove bacteria and viruses from the user's clothes.

The portable case can be placed in a hallway or inside a closet and will be made from recycled fibres, which will be coated to keep the ozone inside the case during the sanitisation process.

According to the studio, the case uses ozone to remove an estimated 98 per cent of micro-organisms, bacteria and viruses from the user's clothes and fabric items contained inside within one hour.

The Pura-Case concept is Carlo Ratti Associati's vision of what the "new normal" of domestic life post-coronavirus will look like.

"As the entire world adjusts to a new normal in terms of health and hygiene, Pura-Case aims to promote top sanitation standards in the key interface between us and the environment – clothes," said architect Carlo Ratti.

"Pura-Case is an alternative to large-sized devices currently being used in hospitals," he added. "It can play a vital role in the post-pandemic world next year as we regain our old social life."

Users would place their clothes inside the case, which has space for up to four hangers, and close it with an air-tight zipper before beginning the cleaning cycle.

The purification process, which takes around one hour to complete, can be started and controlled directly using the battery-powered panel on top of the case or remotely via the Pura-Case mobile app.

The ozone released penetrates the fabric to sanitise it while simultaneously removing any odour. Once the system is finished, the ozone, which can be harmful to be exposed to, is reduced to oxygen through a natural decay process, making the case safe to open.

Carlo Ratti Associati envisions the case being used in offices, households and restaurants – particularly by individuals whose work requires frequent contact with strangers.

"Viruses or bacteria can survive on clothes for long periods," explained the studio. "Ozone, a naturally-occurring triatomic form of oxygen (O3), is commonly used in the health and textile industry to sanitise fashion items, objects, and spaces."

"Pura-Case brings this technology safely into the household," it continued. "It uses ozone to sterilise clothes while reducing the need for unnecessary washing and thus the consumption of water."

The project was commissioned by tech startup Scribit, which recently converted part of its production line to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.

Pura-Case is currently being developed as a prototype at the startup's factory in Turin, Italy, and will soon be launched through a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign.

Ratti also teamed up with Italian architect Italo Rota to design a two-bed intensive care unit from shipping containers, which has been built at a hospital in Italy to help people suffering from Covid-19.

The intensive care pod, called Connected Units for Respiratory Ailments (CURA), has been installed at a temporary hospital built within the Officine Grandi Riparazioni complex in central Turin, and had its first patient admitted on 19 April.

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