Two university students from Malaga patent a screen for the hotel industry to gain capacity without neglecting the protection against the Covid-19
Alberto Domingo (19 years old) is studying second year of Industrial Engineering at Tecnun, School of Engineering of the University of Navarra based in San Sebastian and his brother Emilio (23 years old) is finishing this year the degree in Architecture at the University of Malaga (UMA). Both of them, worried during the confinement about how it would be the return to normality, decided to join knowledge and develop a project to avoid the infection of coronavirus in open spaces. That idea, which arose from a family concern and later took shape as a concept, is now registered at the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office under the name MyMampara.
It is a hexagonal structure made of aluminium and polycarbonate or laminated glass, transparent and light, with hinges so that it can be easily folded and unfolded and adapted to the space available at any given time. With this, these Malagan people manage to make the establishment gain metres of seating without neglecting safety conditions, “as the screens would create a mask effect among the diners at each table”, explains Alberto. This engineering student assures that the restaurant could go from having 60 percent of its space occupied to 90 percent, “which would translate into more tables and more profits, which would compensate in just a few weeks for the effort invested in the acquisition of the screens. After a cost study, the Domingo brothers calculate that the manufacturing cost would be around 550 euros and that the selling price would be around one thousand euros.
The promoters of MyMampara are convinced that their project is a “good solution” to the great problem of capacity and security that hoteliers have nowadays. “In a country like Spain where tourism represents 15 percent of the GDP, this sector plays a key role in the recovery of the economy and we want to help in that process”, defends the young man from Malaga. But his project comes up against the law, which imposes the two-metre safety distance. “Our idea is that with the protection of the screens, the tables would not have to strictly maintain that space of separation. We think it would no longer be necessary, because users would be safe from the virus, and the venue would gain space to put more tables in,” explains Alberto.
That is why, apart from registering their project, they need to make the law more flexible “so that whenever protection is guaranteed, hoteliers can reduce the distance between tables and thus increase their profit margin”. “To drink or eat you have to take off your mask and the two metres distance seems ineffective. Those who define protection standards should take this into account. With these screens, the virus would encounter physical obstacles, reducing the risk of infection among consumers”. This student adds that, in addition, “brands can include their logos or advertising on the screens as they do today on terrace furniture and awnings. Therefore, with the collaboration of beverage manufacturers and with more flexible guidelines from the government when designing intelligent measures, the hotel and catering sector would undoubtedly recover sooner”.
But in the meantime this possibility arrives, which seems “complicated”, they think that the viability of their project can be in another of its functionalities. These screens also act as windbreaks. A hotel in the Sierra Nevada has already shown its intention to acquire them for next winter.
SOURCE: DIARIO SUR (SUSANA ZAMORA)