Toy that includes sanitization in play.

metamoSterlizer is a toy that includes sanitization process in children’s play activity. This toy uses ultraviolet LED to sterilize almost all the viruses and germs. Combined with photochromic sticker which changes color when exposed to ultraviolet light, this toy aims to encourage children to sanitize as they play. The color of the photochromic ink changes back to the original state in about 30 minutes after it has been sanitized.

The change in the color allows the childcare workers to know how much time it has passed since it was last sanitized. This change of color works as a playful interaction for children. The self-sufficient cycle of sanitization through play will prevent viruses such as Respiratory syncytial virus and Rhino virus from spreading through objects in childcare settings.


“Developing Interactive Product to Prevent Group Infection in Childcare Settings”

[Thesis Abstract ]

Sick children represent a huge problem to the Japanese society since it prevents parents -especially mothers- from going to work. According to the research done in 2014 by AbbVie, children attending nursery schools in Japan caught 2.6 times more infectious disease a year than children who did not attend nursery schools (ages 0-2). Preventing group infection in nursery school is a pressing issue to ensure mothers participation in the workforce.

In order to examine what is currently implemented to prevent group infection, I held an ethnographic research. Through this research I found out that childcare workers found it hard to cut down the infection route via objects such as toys. This is because children touch everything they can get their hands on and constantly put things they find in their mouth, which quickly spreads whatever germs or viruses they have through objects. Viruses such as the Respiratory syncytial virus and Rhino virus stay contagious for 4 – 24 hours after attaching to an object. Therefore scientifically valid toy sanitation is absolutely critical in a childcare setting. However, the research revealed the fact that toy sanitation was not fully executed due to the work overload and the insufficient use of sanitizers to wipe infected objects.


2016 - Ongoing

  • Bachelor Graduation Thesis
  • "Developing Interactive Products to Prevent Group Infections in Childcare Settings "


  • Tomo Kihara

My role

  • Ethnographic Research / Product Development

Academic Conference

  • Poster session at Include 2015 held at the Royal College of Art