The present pandemic has thrown up many red flags when it comes to hygiene and protection from getting infected. However, an innovative product out in the market adds another layer of shield, says SHALINI SAKSENA
Things are almost back to normal — at least as normal as they can be before the second wave hit us. Restaurants are opening and people have started patronising them. Yet there is a bit of fear — what if I catch the virus while drinking from a glass or a cup? What if I am thirsty and drink water from a glass in the office and get infected? What if the glass is dirty?
Rest your mind. For besides wearing a mask, sanitising regularly and maintaining social distance, there is yet another device in the market that can be attached to a glass or a cup to provide protection while drinking. The innovative product is the brainchild of Rohit Warrier, Founder of Warrier Electronics.
A lot of time was spent in coming up with an appropriate name. Warrier wanted everyone to make it a habit to line their sips with this drinking shield and Sippline was born.
“It was introduced in the market in August 2020 and it redefines the hygienic drinking experience when out of home, but it also prevents cross-contamination from using glassware in public places. The product is available in three colours — white, green and orange and priced at: For a pack of three costing `199, pack of six at `378 and pack of eight for `499. One can order it on the company’s website and Amazon,” Warrier says.
The idea of this product came up because Warrier has a habit of stopping by the tea shop before and after a meeting, typically a tea stall outside the client’s office. Often he struggled with getting a clean glass to sip from.
“Hand prints on the glass or the tea spilling from the glass is common. A typical reaction was to wipe the glass rim with a tissue or requesting for a fresh glass before I would drink the tea. But a nagging thought stayed about the hygiene,” Warrier says.
He then started noticing the gap in hygiene even while going out for a drink or dining to restaurants, clubs and hotels. “Because of my hospitality background, it brought to light the fact that glasses often get contaminated and touched at various stages of service even after being washed by the time it reaches the guest table. This is when I started looking for a solution to this issue and started my research including the Internet, for availability of some kind of protection for glasses while drinking. Unfortunately, there was none,” Warrier recounts.
This is when he decided to create a product that would offer oral hygiene. He started working on devising a workable solution that needed to be addressed urgently but nobody had focused upon or addressed it. He tells you that the journey was not an easy one even though he was clear on what he wanted.
Then there was the whole idea of being protected due to the present pandemic. “This highlighted the importance of hygiene even more like never before. The product can help the hospitality industry go the extra mile and wow the guest and also ensure hygienic use of glassware,” Warrier says.
“The product comes in a sterlised package. One has to simply tear it open and attach the devise on the rim of glass or the cup, whatever one is using when one steps out of the home. The product has been adjusted and tested on the standard glassware offered in the hospitality industry like Water Goblet, Tom Collins, Old Fashioned, Pilsner, White Wine, Centro High Ball and Beer mug. If, there is a glass on which this devise doesn’t fit, we can customise it,” Warrier says.
The good thing is that it can be used time and again. All one has to do is wash once the person is home. Of course, the first time one uses it, it is sterlised. To sterlise it at home, one can use the sterliser and it is good to go once again. However, one can just wash it like any other utensil — with soap and water. It is dishwater friendly as well.
The product is a semi-circle portable attachment which needs to be attached to the glass or cup that has enough flexibility to fit most glasses. Since Warrier had a good idea what he wanted, the first prototype was there within half-an-hour. But, he tells you that it was not workable since it was designed at home. But an active workable prototype took time to develop as there were a few challenges since it had to be mass produced.
The portable attachment is made from polymer. However, two production versions were explored — food grade polymer and food grade silicon.
“To have one particular model to fit different glasses or cups with different dimensions and thickness was a challenge that had to be worked on. Making sure that it remained fixed to the rim and not pop out was another challenge. There were many alterations that the product went through before the final prototype,” Warrier says. He also tells you that there was a time when he almost gave up the idea since it appeared to be practically not possible to make.
“Probably, this is the reason why such a product never made it to the market before. It was only in the last go that we were able to come up with a workable solution,” Warrier says.