LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — An escape room business is not where one would think the next coronavirus-related breakthrough would come from, but thanks to Michael Bransom, an engineer, and mastermind behind many of the effects at Lexington's Countdown Games, that is exactly the case.
"I work on making things work in the games and the electronics and that sort of thing," Bransom said.
Bransom, who has a computer engineering degree from the University of Kentucky, has invented something called the Money Zapper.
"It's pretty exciting, and I hope it will go somewhere. I think there's a market for this even when there's not a pandemic going on," said Bransom.
He and the team at Countdown Games knew they needed customers to feel safe once their doors were back open, so Bransom began looking for a device that would quickly clean money and credit cards. Like any good engineer, when he could not find what he was looking for, he made it himself.
"There's a lot of places that aren't accepting cash right now because cash is kind of filthy and dirty, and there's no normal way to exchange money without both people touching it, so I think it would definitely help," Bransom explained.
Bransom explained that the Money Zapper uses UV technology to kill numerous bacteria and is being used now in things like industrial air conditioners and water filters.
"It's called UV-C light or sometimes UVGI, so it stands for ultraviolet type c or ultraviolet germicidal irradiation," Bransom explained. "Basically, it is a special wavelength of ultraviolet light that destroys DNA in bacteria and viruses, so it's sort of like sunlight on steroids."
As far as he could find, no one had invented a device quite like this that was small, quick, and convenient.
Bransom said, "We have three different speed settings, so the fastest setting is enough to kill something like influenza, and that's in 2 seconds. For the research I've done on COVID, you could use the medium setting."
The Money Zapper is currently for sale on their website, but Bransom said they hope to get more companies interested to help drive the price down. They have even been communicating with the governor's office to help spread the news of this invention that they believe will help society rebound going forward, even in a post COVID world.
For more information on the Money Zapper, click here.