Innovations That Matter

Top 7 Innovations Supporting Social Distancing Efforts

Innovation Snapshot

Some of the most creative social-distancing solutions Springwise has spotted in recent weeks.

As some regions begin to slowly re-open select businesses and workplaces following extensive COVID-19 lockdown periods, social-distancing efforts will be put to the test.

To prepare for this new reality, designers, tech startups and other innovators have been developing new solutions to help keep workers and consumers at a safe distance from one another. The following innovations are some of the most creative ideas Springwise has spotted in recent weeks.

Photo source Rombit

1. BRACELET HELPS ENFORCE SOCIAL DISTANCING FOR RETURNING WORKERS

Rombit has created the Romware Covid Radius, a digital bracelet that ensures social distancing and also allows contact tracing. Rombit developed the bracelet by adapting its existing logistics bracelet, the Romware One, used to manage logistics in the workplace. Whenever employees come closer to each other than 1.5 metres, they feel a vibration and receive a visual warning signal. Employers can also set an upper limit on the number of employees who may be inside a specific area at the same time, alerting managers in real-time when the limit has been passed.

Read more about this social-distancing bracelet. 

Photo source Martijn Baudoin on Unsplash

2. RESTAURANT RESERVATION PLATFORM PIVOTS TO GROCERY SHOPPING

OpenTable has a new option that allows shoppers to reserve a slot for their grocery shopping, potentially bolstering social distancing efforts. Grocery stores and supermarkets can use the new app to limit the waiting times and reduce crowds waiting to enter the store. Each retailer can adapt the platform to allow different numbers of reservation slots.

Read more about OpenTable’s app.

Photo source Evalan

3. A SOCIAL-DISTANCING SENSOR FOR THE OFFICE

The SmartEagle Distance Sensor hopes to help with this, by letting people know whether they are at the right distance from other people. Developed by SmartEagle, a spin-off of the Internet of Things developer Evalan, the distance sensor uses optical sensors to measure the number of people in a room, and how far apart they are. The sensor sounds an alarm when people are closer than 1.4 metres, with options including a traffic light that turns orange or red, or a notification that appears on users’ phones, to avoid a room full of ringing alarms.

Read more about the SmartEagle Distance Sensor.

4. IN-STORE DEVICE ENSURES SOCIAL-DISTANCING

Photo source  Indyme

The SmartDome is easy to install and able to be adapted for checkouts, counters, entrances and busy parts of the shop. It is similar to a security camera, and it watches customers and sends out messages if they are disobeying the rules of social-distancing, such as “for your safety, please maintain at least six feet of social distance”.

Read more about the SmartDome.

Photo source Shift Architecture Urbanism

5. REDESIGNED LOCAL FOOD MARKETS WITH SOCIAL DISTANCING IN MIND

To help alleviate some of the financial and food scarcity pressure on poorer families and individuals, Rotterdam-based Shift architecture urbanism design studio created a hyperlocal market design that keeps shoppers safe while social distancing. Any open-air market can use the design. Rather than congregating in a single location, the market’s vendors split into groups of threes and set up around the outside of a 16-square grid with a single entrance and two exits.

Read more about Shift’s redesign.

Photo source Avio Interiors

6. AEROPLANE SEATS DESIGNED TO PROTECT FROM CORONAVIRUS

Italian aircraft design firm, Avio Interiors, released two new seat concepts that are designed to reduce the spread of germs and could act as permanent solutions to flying after COVID-19. The first concept, Janus, separates passengers in the same row by reversing the middle seat to face the back of the plane, with a transparent guard wrapping around the sides and back of each seat. The second, Glassafe, adapts the existing seat design by installing transparent shield guards to each seat, isolating each passenger from the shoulders up. 

Read more about these air travel solutions.

Photo source Pixabay

7. NO-TOUCH DELIVERY PLATFORM PROTECTS AGAINST SPREADING VIRUSES

AxelHire has created a suite of tools that enables consumers to sign for their deliveries using a mobile device, allowing them to avoid touching the driver’s mobile device or even opening the door. The companies’ app also allows users to sign for a package before it is delivered, opt-out of in-person delivery, and update their delivery instructions to include building access codes, all in real-time.

Read more about AxelHire’s tools.