As the whole world is prepping to face the pandemic and adapt to the new normal post COVID-19, there are some restrictions and social distancing norms that we need to face. As businesses across Europe are bouncing back to normalcy, shops and malls are opening, restaurants are serving customers, and travel restrictions are being lifted.
Eventually, it becomes highly important to follow social distancing guidelines. While this is tough to follow, there are some big tech players that have come up with solutions to avoid crowding. There are software solutions, wearables and other tech facilitating the same and help you maintain social distance from others.
Google already jumped in to help users maintain social distancing with Sodar, its augmented reality tool. It uses WebXR to visualise a ring of two-metre radius around you to help maintain social distancing. Your smartphone’s camera uses AR to map the area around you to help avoid queuing. In addition to Google Sodar, there are some European tech startups that are bringing solutions that encourage social distancing at various places and we at Silicon Canals have detailed the same here.
Founder/s: Paolo Ingrassia
Founded year: 2020
Dist-i is a smart wearable device, which is easy to use. It allows you to maintain the social distancing between people who wear it at all times, thanks to Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity. The wearable device works with smartphones or Wi-Fi connection and doesn’t require any software installation. The Dist-i band is meant for companies and public places and such as gyms, restaurants, cinemas, hotels, etc. and helps prevent the infection.
It is very simple to use, just wear it and it will warn you every time you are approaching other people in possession of the same device. It is possible to program an alarm distance between 1.5 and 5 metres. With a simple click, it is possible to enable the silent mode function that silences the alarms between a specific group of devices.
Aura Aware (Netherlands)
Founder/s: Janneke van den Heuvel
Founded year: 2020
Amsterdam-based Aura Aware has come up with a smart device, which helps businesses maintain safe social distancing for both themselves and customers. It is a social distance sensor, which warns if customers fail to follow social distancing norms of 2 metres.
This smart device from Aura Aware is an LED panel with a laser depth sensor fitted at its base. It alerts people with audiovisual cues and encourages them to maintain six feet distance. If people go too close, their smart device will turn from green to red. With LIDAR technology that is used in self-driving cars, this smart device lets users customise it via a mobile app. Already, Aura Aware smart device is deployed at IKEA.
Founder/s: Alexander Hüttenbrink, Oliver Trinchera, Maximilian Schmidt
Founded year: 2012
Munich-based Kinexon provides state-of-the-art sensor networks and edge computing solutions to logistics, manufacturing, sports, and media organisations. The company developed SafeZone, one of the most efficient and industry-proven digital solutions to adapt to the social distancing norms and stay protected against COVID-19. Kinexon SafeZone provides customers an open real-time analytics platform, which uses advanced algorithms and provide detailed and live results.
One of the first clients of Kinexon’s technology is Personio, an HR software provider for SMBs. It is currently testing how its employee base of over 400 can go back to office safely. Already, Personio started a trial of two weeks with up to 140 colleagues who volunteered to work at the Munich office.
Founder/s: Ben Sturgess
Founded year: 2015
Norwich-based Pathfindr is an IoT startup that works on indoor and outdoor wayfinding technology. Last month, as the COVID-19 lockdown was being lifted in Europe, this startup started focusing on creating wearable personal safety devices that are aimed to helping workplaces adhere to social distancing standards.
Pathfindr has come developed a low-power, ultra-wideband device, which scans for nearby colleagues using 3.5GHz radiofrequency. It is touted to be more accurate than Bluetooth. The device from Pathfindr comes is priced at £49.99 per unit and has been implemented into workplaces such as construction sites, warehouses, logistics hubs, and factories.
The Line Lite (Ireland)
Founder/s: Anthony Remedy, John O’Neill
Founded year: NA
The Line Lite is a Dublin-based startup that has launched a digital booking system to let customer pre-book shopping visits so that they can avoid waiting in long queues. It also helps retailers monitor the number of people in their premises. This digital solution from The Line Lite is targeted at shopfronts and the high street. It intends to help retailers regain customer trust and better shopping experience during the post COVID-19 era.
The tech behind The Line Lite is aimed at the retail industry. It has been implemented by Siopaella as the business prepares to reopen sometime later this summer. Furthermore, the team is in talks with a slew of Irish retailers, stores and bars to help them and their customers post the pandemic lockdown.
Founder/s: Anthony Cronin, Criostóir O’Codlatáin Lachtna
Founded year: 2020
Irish startup Ordee has developed a social distancing app targeted at the leisure and hospitality businesses. This app aims to help businesses reopen and adapt to the new normal and the government guidelines. Ordee app features a queuing functionality, which aims to prevent customers from standing in long lines or gives them notifications in the virtual queue. The app lets users see the real-time capacity in a venue and pay for the food and drinks purchased as well. Business use the Ordee app to manage bookings and set space for walk-ins. It also lets them see who clocked in and out if they aren’t using the app.
Founded year: NA
London-based Veovo is an AI-powered platform connecting people, systems and sensors across the ecosystem to provide instant situational awareness. It deploys smart smart automation and intelligent recommendations for the same. The startup has launched airport social distancing solutions for safer travel. It has launched Virtual Queueing and Passenger Density Management solutions that are meant to help social distancing in airports as the lockdown is easing in many regions and flying restrictions are getting lifted.
Veovo’s Virtual Queueing lets travellers prebook a time slot for processing at airport checkpoints instead of waiting in line. And, the company’s Passenger Density Management solutions monitors crowd density in spaces and queues across terminals letting airports take action against those surpassing social distancing norms.
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