The coronavirus pandemic is changing everything about life and work as we know it, affecting every industry and posing new challenges to companies and people. In this situation, tech companies can find ways to support businesses and become crucial players in meeting the current needs of society.
Reducing and preventing COVID-19, as well as other infections, is becoming atop priority for people and enterprises throughout the world. It seems fair to say that innovative technologies could become an important piece of the puzzle for accomplishing this goal.
Both now and in the upcoming post-coronavirus era, we can expect a higher demand for products with touchless interfaces. Here’re the 3 areas that could benefit the most from these easy-to-use solutions.
As our society becomes more and more aware of infections spreading, the need for going hands-off in public places is unprecedented. Hence, different motion-activated devices will most probably become the “new normal” at restrooms, restaurants, shopping malls, railway stations, airports and other public spaces where hygiene requirements should be scrutinized.
The healthcare industry will obviously require the most cutting-edge touch-free sensor systems. Hospital facilities managers are always on the lookout for ways to keep their personnel and patients safer by reducing the chances of cross-contamination and hand carriage of pathogenic microorganisms. A hospital check-in with a touchless screen or touchless gaming for patients in pediatric rooms – these are just the simplest solutions that come to mind.
One step further are dedicated solutions for doctors, especially surgeons who must keep their hands sterile in operating rooms. There are already some products on the market that are trying to cater to these needs. For example, some hospitals are already testing a multi-sensor solution for surgeons called “TedCube”. It detects the position of the surgeon’s fingers through the use of infrared cameras and lighting with a very high degree of accuracy. TedCube allows surgeons to access patient information or other important data using a gestural interface during the surgery, eliminating the need to de-scrub or ask for assistance.
The no-touch approach also applies to workplaces, starting with the shift towards automated access control systems for entering and exiting office premises. The companies with high-level security needs will most probably explore retinal scanning or facial recognition software to secure safe entry to their facilities.
At intive, developers have been spearheading some of the latest facial recognition technologies for office access. A solution called “intive_EVA” has been implemented at one of the company’s offices: It allows registered staff members to move in and out of intive premises with ease and full security. intive_EVA uses image processing algorithms that interact with a 3D camera to guard the reliability of the entire system.
As for people’s homes, for a while now there has been a movement toward the integration of the touchless technology into smaller home appliances and gadgets. We can predict that in the nearest future these innovations will no longer be seen as mere luxury, but as necessary life-easing tech.
Embedded sensor-based solutions, as well as voice-controlled technology, will become more prevalent and change the way we interact with devices. Sensor-activated lights, windows or door systems; kettle, coffee machine or TV that you can control with a voice command – these are the most common ways hands-free technology is set to take over our homes.
The increased interest in touchless technology and its inclusion in mainstream consumer products can positively affect people with disabilities. First, gesture and facial recognition-based products may also become very helpful. “Sesame Phone” is one of the good examples of how these technologies could turn the ordinary smartphone into a vital communication device for people with special needs. It uses computer vision technology to allow access to apps simply by moving the head.
Secondly, there is an undeniable positive effect of speech recognition technology for people with mobility impairments. Thanks to the voice-controlled products they can perform a wide range of activities, such as placing calls, setting alarms, streaming podcasts, playing audiobooks.
Being part of the official Amazon Partner Network, intive actively participates in creating useful voice software to facilitate people’s daily tasks. Our developers had a chance to design, develop and support some great Alexa skills that satisfy users in their search for convenient and reliable solutions, such as easy ticket booking, automated meeting scheduling, charity donations and more.
All the examples above only scratch the surface of the actual impact of touch-free technology. Facial, motion and voice recognition software could be – and is being – used across various other industries: automotive, retail, security and law enforcement, travel, hospitality, etc.
Even though we are now facing difficult times, let’s hope that thoughtful use of such technology results in lots of game-changing and engaging products that will support us in our daily lives. If you are looking for an experienced design and engineering partner to create such a product for your business – reach out to us. Let’s make the world safer, smarter and more open together.