Hand sanitizer dispensers have gone from being somewhat ignored pieces of equipment in hotel public spaces to arguably the most important and most looked for items all over the property due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Prior to the pandemic, many brands and individual operators in the hospitality industry were purchasing hand sanitizer for back of house, restrooms, gyms or occasionally for the front desk or concierge,” said Ed Krafcik, head of U.S. business development at Touchland, which manufactures the Touchland Kub smart hand sanitizer station. “Hand sanitizer was thought of as a simple commodity and luxury, rather than a must-have. The pandemic changed this perception dramatically; hand sanitizer is now the first thing a guest will look for and interact with when walking through the entry of a lobby. Hand sanitizer dispensers are now brand decisions and are treated as architectural furnishings and amenities that will be placed in high-profile locations; they now have a sense of permanence.”
The Touchland Kub is an IoT-enabled dispenser that is integrated with smart technology to send refill and low battery alerts to management and staff through a mobile app, which can monitor up to 100 dispensers at once. They are filled with aqueous formula cartridges that the company says last up to two times longer than competitor gel cartridges. The dispenser can also be customized with a brand logo.
“The Kub is the product of 10 years of perfecting design and functionality and responding to customer feedback and user needs,” noted Krafcik. “It is the first-of-its-kind internet-connected hand sanitizer dispenser, enabling operations and facilities teams to view usage in real-time, making refill replacement a simpler and more efficient process. Additionally, unlike many competitors in the market, the Kub dispenses Touchland’s uniquely crafted aqueous sanitizer formulation—not a gel or foam—which is an extremely cost effective solution that also hydrates and moisturizes hands.”
The Kub Refeel cartridge contains up to 2,000 doses of the sanitizing formula, as opposed to the 1,000-1,300 doses of gel or foam of its competitors, said Krafcik, adding, “The liquid-based formula, paired with a proprietary dispensing mechanism and smart sensor, ensures that every dose of the refill is used prior to replacement.”
The Touchland Kub comes in standard and premium models and can be a standalone unit or installed on a stand. The two main differences between the Kub and Kub Premium include the color selection and the battery options (D battery vs. rechargeable lithium).
“The Kub comes in green, red, blue, orange and purple, and the Kub Premium is offered in black and white with a brushed aluminum side panel finish,” said Krafcik. “Typically, the lithium battery version is reserved for use in residential environments. Otherwise, both Kub product types offer the same functionality including WiFi connectivity, formulation and dispensing technology.”
Touchland’s hospitality clients include Marriott, Hyatt, Sofitel, Standard Hotels, 1 Hotels, Fairmont and Virgin Hotels, as well as the Four Seasons in Montreal and Orlando, FL; The Langham in Chicago, Edition Hotel Miami Beach, Hotel Domio, Nomo Soho and Virgin Hotels.
Clients can use the company’s eCommerce platform, Touchland for Business, to order refills.
“Touchland for Business is a business portal, designed to enable seamless direct ordering without the need for a distributor or sales representative,” said Krafcik. “In addition to setting up refill subscriptions based on usage, the business portal provides a record of all purchases and makes it easy for global procurement in large hospitality brands to order for multiple locations at the same time by setting multiple shipping addresses.”
He also noted that support is provided in a number of ways. “Touchland products are designed to be extremely intuitive to assemble, use and maintain; however, in the case that a business partner needs support, we have an interactive troubleshooting guide as well as a real-time customer service team,” said Krafcik. “Large accounts that have dozens of locations also have full-time account managers for 360-degree support.”