Even (or perhaps especially) in pandemic conditions, ingenuity and teamwork thrive. In fact, even working far apart, many dedicated inventors and manufacturers have found ways to create new technology specifically to counter the rise of COVID-19. When economies worldwide begin to reopen, these technologies may play a role in making the return to normal day-to-day life safe.
Let’s take a look at a few technologies created specifically in response to COVID-19, as a testament to the never-ending creativity and determination of the technology sector.
Staff Monitoring Kiosks
In order to scale work back to full capacity as quickly as possible, a large number of individuals will need to have their temperatures tested throughout each workday.
Whether for reasons of cost, contamination risk, or the amount of time this would require each day, companies may be hesitant to engage in this kind of monitoring.
This is no longer prohibitive, thanks to new automated health-monitoring kiosks like the Meridian Personnel Management Kiosk. This kiosk system uses thermal camera technology to rapidly detect body temperature at a distance (up to a meter), providing a touchless way of preventing sick workers from entering a facility.
Automated Decontamination Booths
For those who absolutely must travel during a pandemic, travel outside of one’s own country can be scary. The same applies just as much for airport officials in close contact with foreign travelers. Thanks to new forms of decontamination, such as the CLEANTech booth now employed in the Hong Kong airport, airport staff can be quickly decontaminated in a secure environment.
Over the course of just forty seconds, the booth uses light and a disinfectant spray to clean the employees’ clothes and exposed skin. The booth also features an antimicrobial coating to hinder the spread of the virus. In conjunction with other recently-released products, such as antimicrobial face masks, this can reduce the risk of exposure via contact.
3D-Printed Door Handle Alternatives
For those that have access to them, 3D printers represent a workaround to the isolation of pandemic conditions.
Creating and sharing new objects is a contactless way of inventing and iterating on tools to counter the spread of COVID-19.
As an example, the 3D printing firm Materialise recently published the design files for a tool that attaches to a doorknob and facilitates opening doors with an arm, as opposed to a hand. Especially if the user’s arm is covered by a sleeve, this could make huge strides in preventing the spread of the disease on doorknobs
Materialize has provided the design files for free online, maximizing the chance that people in the position to print and use this invention will be able to do so.
Habit-Changing Smartband Minimizes Face-Touching
Some innovations inspired by the pandemic are brand-new, but others represent slight tweaks of pre-existing ideas.
This is the case for the Immutouch smartband, which buzzes whenever the user touches their face (a behavior known to promote the spread of COVID-19). The smartband was initially designed for monitoring and stopping a different bad habit (pulling out hair), but the overlap between these use cases was sufficient to facilitate a quick redesign.
As you can see, new technologies stemming from the pandemic serve a range of different purposes and each targets a specific audience. For instance, Immutouch focuses on personal use, while CLeanTech focuses on crowded professional environments. Some are expensive, and some can be made for free provided you have the right materials. Yet no matter who you are, knowing that all of these technologies will help you prepare for the slow transition away from quarantine.