Interview with Darragh O’Connor, CMO at Antiviral Coating Technology Company: Kastus

Entrepreneur John Browne founded the company in Dublin, Ireland. We’re an award-winning nano-technology innovator that has developed a globally patented range of 24/7 Antibacterial & Antiviral surface coatings designed to permanently protect touch screens and other glass surfaces against harmful viruses and bacteria.
Antimicrobial & Antiviral Surface Coating Technology - Kastus

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

We initially developed it in response to government, industry and healthcare requests to help reduce the spread of antibiotic-resistant infections, specifically those caused by bacteria and fungus surviving on surfaces and indoor environments.

As you’ll know, we now live in a high-touch world reliant every day on public touchscreens and our own personal devices. Alongside the increasing risk of infection and cross-contamination from using these same screens, Kastus’ game-changing coating technology offers a unique solution for businesses and consumers alike.


How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

We’re seeing an increase in demand for Kastus’ solution for touchscreens in medical environments to those in the retail, HORECA and, indeed, with consumers.

Take mobile phones. We’re seeing a huge upswell in demand for permanent protection on touchscreens there. Touchscreens are an ideal media for pathogens of all kinds to flourish on, due to their regular contamination and their warm operating temperature as bacteria thrive at 35˚C. Now consumers are becoming more aware of this problem.

Indeed, we recently researched more than 2,000 mobile phone users in the UK and found some shocking results about the pandemic’s effect on our touchscreen usage. When told that scientific studies show that mobile phones typically harbour 10 times more germs than a public toilet seat, and Human Coronavirus can live on touchscreens for up to 28 days, people just wanted mobile phone makers to provide a safe solution.

Indeed the majority of people (61 percent), are now keen to switch brands to one with 24/7 antiviral & antibacterial screen protection. But of course, no phone maker offers that yet! Only nine percent of mobile users will definitely stay with their current brand if offered an alternative with built in protection against the harmful bacteria and viruses that thrive on screens. That’s just huge. Imagine a world where Oppo or Vivo suddenly supplants Samsung as the global market leader because of hygiene! There was a time when that sounded far-fetched but the pandemic (which has now become endemic) has changed the game. Most people (83 percent) of the 2,000 we spoke with have become more concerned about germs and viruses since the pandemic started.

So for Kastus, having started out protecting screens in hospitals, is expanding that to more and more consumer applications. And consumer electronics brands like our new partner, Lenovo, see the advantage that our solution offers in this high-touch world.

What can we hope to see from Kastus in the future?

In general what’s being dubbed ‘sustainable sanitisation’ will sway sales for mobile makers. Adding Kastus protection is a significant differentiator for smartphone brands to win market share and drive revenue, and that’s why consumer technology brands like Lenovo have already adopted Kastus protection technology into their touchscreen portfolio.

So we believe that Kastus will become the standard way that smartphone brands will protect their touchscreens permanently from harmful viruses and bacteria, adding it before the products hit the shelves. So consumers won’t even have to think about it, they’ll have that reassurance of protection as standard.

And of course, beyond mobile products, any touchscreen, private or shared, can be protected by Kastus so we expect to continue to expand its application beyond the markets we’re already successfully in.