U of C engineer invents duffel bag that freshens sports gear and clothes

A Calgary-born engineer is on a mission to take the stink out of sports gear — even the dreaded hockey bag.

Aram Razouki has invented a duffel bag that removes bad smells and bacteria through a self-ionizing process, and he’s moved to California to launch his technology to the world.

“I know everybody knows how bad hockey gloves smell,” he told the Calgary Eyeopener. “It works on those hockey gloves.”

Razouki developed the technology while he was an engineering student at the University of Calgary. 

“I was so busy with school and working out and doing MMA, it was just hard to keep all my gear fresh to use every day, and I hated wearing my clothes after putting them in the bag with all my other gear,” he said. “So I thought there just had to be an easier way to be able to rewear my nice clothes and keep all my sports gear fresh between uses.”

The engineering student set to work on a prototype.

“I came up with an idea for a refreshing technology and we actually built a prototype of that system, kind of a big home appliance version, in my final year of university to show off the technology and the concept, and we got great feedback,” he said. “And ended up spinning off into a startup after graduating.”

The company is called Dress Fresh and will be based in San Diego.

Razouki, who graduated with an electrical engineering degree in 2015, claims his technology works for even the dreaded hockey equipment.

“There’s no water, no chemicals. We use an advanced ionization process inside of the bag,” he said. “We supercharge the air to create an ion-rich environment that mixes in with the oxygen. And basically we eradicate all the germs at the microbial level, which effectively removes any odours as well.”

University of Calgary graduate Aram Razouki has invented a duffel bag that removes bad smells and bacteria through a self-ionizing process. (Submitted by Aram Razouki)

The bag has a built-in lithium ion battery.

“So you just have to charge the bag and you can get I’d say, anywhere from five to 10 cleaning cycles out of it,” he said. “So you could use the bag for the week and then charge it up on the weekend and just kind of have it with you on the go.”

A filter cartridge goes inside the bag as well. 

Razouki says technology will remove all scent from the bag and the clothing, and said that they plan to launch with three scent options — fresh rain, tea tree mint and Japanese cherry blossom.

“We are launching with scents and you will be able to open up your bag and get some nice smelling gear instead of that foul odour,” he said. “But if there was no scent, it smells like nothing, it kind of removes the odour and it smells very neutral. That’s the best way to put it.”

Razouki is about to launch a Kickstarter campaign for Dress Fresh. 

Aram Razouki, an electrical engineer who graduated from U of C in 2015, has invented the technology that allows his patent pending sports bag to clean itself. (Submitted by Aram Razouki)

“We’re currently working with our suppliers, wrapping up our design for manufacturing. And once we begin tooling for production then we’ll be opening up our campaign,” he said. “Obviously everything going on lately hasn’t been easy to manage but we’ve been working hard and we’re almost back on track.”

Razouki said he was lured to California by an investment opportunity.

The idea was originally going to be an appliance, a way to clean clothing. But then Razouki got the idea of cleaning shoes, and then that hard-to-clean sports equipment. The company has a patent pending on the self-cleaning technology.

He said the bag will retail for between $299 US and $349 US.

With files from the Calgary Eyeopener.

Read more at CBC.ca

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