Beacon Launches Device Backed by UVC Light to Disinfect Homes, Offices
Sure the latest initiatives from the Teslas, Apples and Googles of the industry tend to dominate the tech news space — and with good reason. Still, the tech titans aren’t the only ones bringing innovation to the sector.
In an effort to highlight up-and-coming tech companies, Built In launched The Future 5 across seven major U.S. tech hubs. Each quarter, we will feature five early-stage tech companies, nonprofits or entrepreneurs in each of these hubs who just might be working on the next big thing. Read our round-up of Chicago’s rising companies from last quarter here.
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Covid-19 is no longer as prevalent as it once was, but the pandemic made people more concerned about pathogens and public health. Even today, some people still wear masks while others take different precautions to stay healthy. For those looking to protect themselves from other viruses and illnesses, Chicago-based Beacon recently launched a new type of safety device that uses UV light to eliminate viruses in entire rooms.
Co-founded by Brian Clark, Susie Spigelman and Andrea Clark, Beacon developed a wall-mounted device for residential and commercial environments that uses far-UVC light to kill bacteria, viruses, germs and other pathogens that can make people ill.
Far-UVC light is an ultraviolet wavelength that is invisible to the human eye and poses no danger to humans. According to a study in which scientists filled a room with viruses and exposed it to far-UVC light, the light reduced pathogen levels by 98 percent.
While the technology was effective, it remained primarily used in laboratories as it needed sophisticated lightbulbs. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Brian Clark and his sister Andrea Clark decided a build a prototype of a device that used the same tech but could be offered to consumers and the general public.
“We were looking for something to help our communities and the people and places that we knew and cared about,” Brian Clark, CEO of Beacon, told Built In. “The real problem we saw was the collective action issue where a minority of people were making certain choices that put larger groups at risk. We thought about how we can build a technology that removes that externality but also allows people to make their own individual choices without impacting and harming others.”
This is brand new technology. We are really excited about the promise it can provide and how we can help people and their communities.”
After building the prototype, Beacon released a commercial product for consumer use in homes or workplaces. The device starts at $499 and uses an accompanying mobile app where customers can schedule when the device operates and disinfects their environment. Pre-orders for the device opened in February.
“We’re very excited about the approach we’ve taken with this; it’s a really clean, simple and high-quality design aesthetic that can fit into your life without being obtrusive,” Brian Clark said. “You don’t have to change behaviors, you don’t have to change decorations, you don’t have to change your decor. It will plug and play into your life and protect people.”
Along with selling its devices, Beacon has also committed to donating them to underserved communities.
“This is brand new technology,” Brian Clark said. “We are really excited about the promise it can provide and how we can help people and their communities.”
According to Brian Clark, Beacon will focus on selling its current device before determining whether to venture into new products using its technology.