When talking about technology’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, few major innovations come to mind – drones for surveillance, delivering food and disinfecting places, healthcare automation services like robots, AI-powered content moderation to beat COVID-19 misinformation, contact tracing apps, and a lot more. It’s no surprise that technology’s response to the ongoing pandemic has been astounding. And it’s going to continue being a strong pillar of support in the post-pandemic world, especially when it comes to re-establishing workplaces. Although the pandemic isn’t over yet, the lockdown has been lifted across different parts of the world, and many people have already started working from offices.
In India, there have been lockdown relaxations across several states and more people have started to work from offices, which is why it’s important than ever for companies to ensure the health and safety of its employees does not get compromised. While maintaining social distance and hygiene practices like washing your hands, wearing a mask, and carrying a hand sanitizer is an obvious answer to curb the spread of COVID-19, there’s a bunch of tech innovations in the market that companies can opt to make their office space clean and safe.Speaking of which, several tech startups and firms have come up with innovations that can ramp up sanitization and safety practices within a workplace.
Video Monitoring and Analysis
Video monitoring can help play a big role in making sure all the employees working at an office are abiding by social distancing compliances and guidelines. Amazon has already rolled out an AI-powered system called ‘Distance Assistant’ that provide employees live feedback on social distancing via a 50-inch monitor, camera, and a local computing device. As people walk past the camera, a monitor displays live video with on-screen indicators to show if employees are within 6 feet of one another. Indian startups have also come out with similar tools for monitoring purposes. Staqu, a Gurgaon-based startup, for instance, is using video analytics for smart monitoring. The company is leveraging its proprietary video analytics platform JARVIS to roll out cutting-edge use cases aimed at identifying, tracking, and curbing the spread of COVID-19.
Video analysis and monitoring is a simple, cost-effective tech solution that can help in big ways. Keeping surveillance around social distancing within offices will help ensure public safety. It can also be deployed across hospitals, pubs, malls, etc, uising video surveillance cameras. Since these video analytics tools offer real-time information, it can be quite effective for employees’ safe office return.
Advanced Cleaning Tech
Apart from making sure that all employees follow the guidelines and practice social distancing, it’s very important to keep the office space clean, especially during these times. To curb the spread of coronavirus and other diseases, companies can opt for technological tools and systems that can help ramp up the cleaning process. Robots can be of great help in this case. For instance, there’s a floor disinfecting robot that can navigate and sanitize the floors without any human intervention at various places, including offices, hotels, hospitals, etc. Developed by Milagrow Humantech, the robot moves autonomously without falling and avoids obstruction while planning its own path. It makes use of LIDAR and advanced SLAM technology. Milagrow’s patented Real-Time Terrain Recognition Technology (RT2RT) scans at 3600, 6 times per second to make a floor map in real-time with an accuracy of up to 8mm over a 16m distance.
Similarly, to keep the air clean and fresh within office spaces, companies can invest in tech to deep clean air. A startup, Magneto CleanTech, launched an enhanced version of Central Air Cleaner co-powered by Filterless Magnetic Air Purification (FMAP) and Ultraviolet (UVGI) technology. This air filtration framework uses the ‘Trap and Kill’ with hostile to microbial UV-C beams to completely sterilize the indoor air. As per the claims, it can slaughter over 90% of airborne infections and diseases. Another solution to ensure cleanliness at the workplace is MicroGO’s GOassureTM IoT-enabled Hand Hygiene device. It ensures good hand hygiene practices, sustainability (water and other savings), and provides real-time data monitoring. It follows a six-step of hand hygiene and a 25-second process to ensure thorough cleaning and disinfection of hands.
Contactless Tech Solutions
Since Coronavirus spreads from touching an infected surface, offices will need a better alternative to biometric attendance systems that requires finger impression to mark attendance. This is where contactless biometrics will be a game-changer to authenticate employees without having them touch or place their hands on a scanner. This can be possible via several technologies out there such as facial recognition tools and digital fingerprint detection systems. Contactless solutions are going to be all the rage in the post-pandemic world and can help not only prevent the virus from spreading, but also make their office space cleaner.
Other examples of contactless technology includes temperature scanners. We’ve already witnessed extensive use of handheld thermometers to scan temperature that helps with the detection of COVID-19-prone patients during the pandemic. While these handheld thermometers require a person standing around with it at all times to scan people, a number of contactless technologies have emerged that automatically scans people as they enter an office. Zesta India’s Wall Mounted Automatic Thermometer is a good example. With Zesta’s Wall Mounted Automatic Thermometer, companies can simply install it at the entrances of the workplace and let everyone scan themselves with zero physical contact. This can be used at the office, shops, hospitals, schools, malls, and other public areas. It also comes with color code alarm, fast and accurate detection.
Apps For Employees’ Safe Return
Apps have been playing a critical role in the war against COVID-19, and they can also help companies prepare better for employees’ return to offices. Tech companies have been developing apps that’ll act as additional support in keeping employees safe. For example, ServiceNow, a digital workforce company, has released a four-app suite and dashboard that’s aimed to help companies better manage the necessary steps required for returning employees to the office. These include apps around safety management, inventory management, health screening, and employee surveys. Apart from these, there are several other apps in the market that can help keep track on how employees are doing after returning to the workplace.
The post-pandemic world has started to come into focus, and it’s crucial that companies start taking steps that will shield both their employees and the business overall. Technology is helping us more than you realize during the pandemic and it will continue to do so after the pandemic is over.