Preventing group infections with a toy that changes colour when sanitised

2015 |  Product Design & Development


How can we prevent group infection in nursery schools?

MetamoSterlizer is a toy that includes sanitisation process in children’s play activity. This toy uses ultraviolet LED to sterilise almost all the viruses and germs. Combined with photochromic sticker which changes colour when exposed to ultraviolet light, this toy aims to encourage children to sanitise as they play to prevent group infection.

The end result was a functioning toy & colour changing sticker

Research was conducted at Mominoki Kindergarden in Tokyo


Children attending nursery school catches 2.6 times more disease than those who don't.

This product is an outcome of an yearly design & research to develop ways to prevent group infections in Japan. Sick children represent a huge problem to the Japanese society since it prevents parents -especially mothers- from going to work.  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) (AbbVie, 2014).

Research findings

Infections spreading via toys and other objects.

In order to examine what might be the cause of group infection, I held an ethnographic research at a nursery school in Tokyo.Through this research I found out that childcare workers found it hard to cut down the infection route via objects such as toys and door knobs. This is because children touch everything they can get their hands on and constantly put things they find in their mouth, which quickly spreads Respiratory syncytial virus and Rhino virus everywhere.


Developing a sticker that changes colour when sanitised.

To encounter this MetamoSterlizer was developed. By working with a chemical printing company I developed a special sticker that changes color when it is exposed to UV light and sanitised. The color goes back to the default state after 30 minutes. The change in the color allows the childcare workers to know how much time it has passed since it was last sanitised.


Kids started playing the new game of "sanitisation" everywhere

The  product was deployed in the Mominoki nursery school. It was observed that the colour change  worked as a fun play for children. The self-sufficient cycle of sanitisation through play works to possibly prevent viruses from spreading through objects.

Some kids loved the toy ;)

Kids sanitising the door knob of the toilet

Kids making their own sanitisation sticker to attach to things like doors, floors.

Project Details

Date » 2015, Mar - Dec
Appearance » INCLUDE 2015 - Royal College of Art
Project's Nature » Bachelor Graduation Project


My Role » Research & Development (Solo-project)
Mentor » Daijiro Mizuno