In light of the raging coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, one Israeli startup has engineered a preventative solution for those traveling in shared rides or on public transportation. Vootto, whose name is taken from the Portuguese-Italian word vacuum, has been working for the past few years on an air filtration device that can be installed in cars. However, once the pandemic broke out, the company identified the rising need to further develop its product and begin to market it to the broader public. The device, which is attached in cars or other methods of shared-transportation, has a proven efficiency of removing 99.9% of pollutants out of the air, including viruses, and most specifically the coronavirus.
CEO of Vootto Ron Eyal spoke to CTech about what makes his company’s product stand out against others.
“Vootto is the strongest car air purifier yet, and combines three efforts to combat air pollution: it vacuums and pulls in all the air from the car, replacing all the air in the cabin routinely, some 10 times an hour, which is about every five minutes; it assesses the air through a four-stage filtration system that is able to filter out 99.9% pollutants in the air, (such as pollen, smoke, and chemical gases); it contains an anti-odor material that is composed of a combination of herbs and plants and works to neutralize odors; and our device is also equipped with a scent agent,” he said, noting that scents can be chosen individually by the customer, but clarified that there is a scentless version as well for people who are sensitive to smells.
Vootto’s product works on nearly all viruses and bacteria, and destroys a virus’s membrane, and thereby neutralizes it. The company claims that it is effective against filtering out viruses from the air, such as all of the SARS and SARS-COV-2 (Covid-19) families.
How does it differ from standard HEPA filtering systems?
“While HEPA filters can accumulate viruses and not let them filter them out into air, our filter destroys the virus,” Eyal said.
It works at the most minute level of particles and works toward neutralizing it.
Viruses can be filtered out of the air using traditional air purifiers, but they can escape the filtration system and be re-released back into the air. “It doesn’t accumulate on the fibers of the filter,” he said.
Is this device designed specifically for people with chronic lung diseases, at-risk populations, or everyone?
“Everyone can use it. Air pollution inside cars can be 15 times worse than it is outside, and an air router in a car can purify that air. Our device is mainly for people who are ride-sharing or using public transport, it provides a safety net for those individuals.”
“Even if you do wear a mask, using our system is a big step toward protecting yourself against the pandemic. It’s always been our number one goal to fight some of the worst pollutants in the world, such as those in closed spaces.”
According to Pitch Book data, the Tel Aviv-based company employs six people and has raised NIS 1.47 million ($450,000) of equity crowdfunding via Pipelbiz.