HydroTap Touch-Free Wave is a contactless version of Zip’s flagship HydroTap product.
The solution aims to help employers create COVID-safe workplaces, after a July Qualtrics survey found 74 percent of people working remotely through COVID-19 want employers to take further action to make them feel more confident about returning to work. Forty-two percent want their employers to focus on office hygiene.
Separate research by commercial fitout specialist Aston, finds a person will come into contact with 43 different touch points on an average workday, including doors, printers and kitchen appliances.
Zip Water’s new HydroTap Touch-Free Wave will be available across Australia by December and in New Zealand by 2021.
Zip Water marketing and strategy director for Australia and New Zealand, Mike Abbott, says the HydroTap Touch-Free Wave was developed to meet new emerging needs both in Australia and overseas.
“Back in April, we started to receive enquires from some of our existing domestic customers asking whether we offered a contactless version of our HydroTap. When we received requests from our two key domestic specifiers in New South Wales and Queensland, who said many Australian workplaces were approaching them for contactless solutions, we knew we had to get something to the market quickly.
“In response we conceived, designed and developed the HydroTap Touch-Free Wave. Since April, we have had over 40 enquiries from existing domestic commercial customers before it’s even hit the market.”
In order to get the HydroTap Touch-Free Wave to market within six months, Zip Water innovation manager, Kevin Moult, says the company drew on industry-leading techniques to develop a first-of-its kind solution using in-house proprietary sensor technology to deliver a minimum viable product and prototype in record time.
“By using advanced manufacturing techniques, including 3D printing and rapid prototyping, we were able to achieve our first viable prototype in half the usual time. The biggest challenge we faced was fitting four infrared sensors into the tap head, which only has a diameter of 4.5cm, so that they didn’t intersect and confuse commands. If you think about other contactless technology, like sensor-driven hand washing or toilet flushing systems, they only need to fit one or two sensors into a much, much bigger space, and they’re usually all facing the same direction,” Moult says.
“We were also able to develop an innovative solution to deliver a contactless version of the boiling water safety lock found in all classic HydroTaps. We created the twin sensor activation command so that boiling water is only dispensed once two of the four sensors are engaged, which can be done only through a very intentional motion. This solution provides a fool-proof contactless answer to the boiling water safety lock and protects against workplace injury as a result of scalding, all while still avoiding contact.”
Zip Water is manufacturing the HydroTap Touch-Free Wave out of its factory located in Condell Park, Western Sydney.