Samsung ShoeDresser, a whole new category of home appliances, could replace old closets, completely changing the way people store and care for their shoes, and also reflecting the importance of the fashion item to millennials.
After launching the AirDresser garment care system in 2018, Samsung engineers in the consumer electronics unit caught the growing trend of shoe enthusiasts, which led to the idea of developing a whole new device type.
“As the market for garment care systems grows, we’ve found that people want to take care of their shoes as well, with some even trying to clean their shoes with AirDresser,” said Kim Myoung-sun, planner. products at Samsung during an interview with The Herald of Korea.
A group of engineers embarked on a market research and product design of an electronic shoe closet in January 2019.
“We went through a lot of trial and error until the first prototype was completed,” said Seo Dong-pil who was involved in the development of the product. “Our team purchased over 1,000 pairs of shoes of different types of materials, including suede boots, golf shoes, rain boots and climbing shoes, to find an optimum temperature that would not damage not the shoes. “
The team focused on three characteristics: deodorization, dehumidification and sterilization.
To remove odors, Samsung has developed what it calls “heat pump” technology that dries shoes at temperatures below 40 degrees Celsius.
Using the team’s new shoe hanger, named “Shoe Tree,” gentle heat and air purify the insides of the shoes by eliminating odors.
Samsung’s photo-catalytic technology, also used in the AirDresser, then breaks down the odors.
“The key technology here is to deodorize the shoes and break down the odors inside the product,” said Lee Jung-hee, another engineer on the team. “We made sure the smell didn’t come out of the closet.”
So, how to clean shoes is important, especially as personal hygiene becomes more important amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Samsung introduced ShoeDresser as the first home appliance with UVC xenon lamp technology that offers a longer life cycle than mercury-based UVC lamps which are widely used for cup UV sterilizers.
“Samsung is joining the global movement to reduce the use of mercury in consumer products,” said Ko Young-chul, the engineer who developed the UVC xenon lamp for ShoeDresser. “To remove mercury from our product, we had to find something that provides sufficient light, efficient for sterilization and longer life at the same time, given the product’s 10-year warranty. ”
“We thought about using xenon gas, which gives a stronger light than UVC-LED lamps and has a longer life cycle than mercury lamps, making ShoeDresser the first application,” Ko said.
The xenon UVC lamp has been shown to be superior in terms of shoe sterilization over the use of steam, which requires a higher temperature of over 100 degrees Celsius, Seo said.
“We found that steam sterilization can leave water marks on wet shoes worn on rainy days,” Seo said. “Xenon was the best choice for sterilizing without water. ”
It’s been less than a month since the ShoeDresser debuted on May 27, but Samsung is already receiving a positive market response for the shoe closet.
Samsung plans to increase sales of the electronic shoe care system for domestic enterprises first.
“The product could be supplied en masse to new apartments through construction companies or indoor screen golf courses where people have to borrow and put on golf shoes worn by someone else,” he said. said Lee. “In the past, there was no outlet in the bathroom at home, but it has become essential to have several outlets as electronic devices appear. We could also have a power outlet at the entrance of each house to install ShoeDresser.
The company also has a plan to expand ShoeDresser globally as another lifestyle device.
“The ShoeDresser market could expand on a new trend where consumers in Western countries have started removing their shoes at home for hygiene reasons after experiencing the virus outbreak,” Kim said.
By Song Su-hyun ([email protected])