How Technology Is Helping Employers Reopen Their Businesses After COVID-19 Lockdown

Wearables helping people to get back to work
Tharsus’ wearable device Bump is a Personal Motion System designed to help people understand the way they move around a workplace and when they interact. (Image: Tharsus)

As the world is trying to reopen after a lengthy lockdown due to COVID-19, tech companies are using gadgets and apps to make the process smooth.

Temperature screening

British telecommunications firm Vodafone is deploying heat detection cameras at entrance or reception area of workplaces. The cameras are made by surveillance tech maker Digital Barriers, reports CNBC.

“The device uses both thermal and HD cameras to deliver reliable, real-time body temperature screening accurate to within +/- 0.3 degrees Celsius and can screen up to 100 people every minute,” said Anne Sheehan, director of Vodafone Business U.K.

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Responding to concerns over whether the cameras could infringe workers’ privacy, Vodafone said its cameras are a “temperature screening solution only.”

“The data it gathers is only relevant at that particular point in time,” said Sheehan. “The device doesn’t include technologies such as facial recognition and it cannot be used as a tracking device.”

Social Distancing

Tharsus. UK-based robotics group Tharsus developed wearables for workers to wear around their necks to help with distancing themselves from colleagues. The wearable smart necklace sends out alerts to wearers every time they come into close proximity with another worker. Tharsus is looking to roll the technology out in a number of workplace environments, including offices, warehouses and canteens.

A temperature screening app on a laptop
Vodafone’s heat detection camera captures a person walking into office. (Image: Vodafone)

Proxxi, a Vancouver, Canada-based safety technology company for industrial workforces, announced the launch of Halo, a wearable band to help employees maintain social distancing at work. Halo notifies wearers that another band is within 6 feet (2 meters), reminding them of the need to maintain social distance.

Safe Spacer. Modena, Italy-based technology company IK Multimedia has developed a wearable device that will do just that. Safe Spacer is a lightweight wearable device that helps workers and visitors to maintain safe social distancing, enabling workplaces and public spaces to re-open and operate with peace of mind.

Read more Healthcare Organizations Using Technology To Address Health Disparities During COVID-19 Pandemic

Social Distancing While Commuting

Besides social distancing at work, employees need to keep social distance while commuting to work as well. New York City has approved the private use of e-scooters and bikes, and will allow e-scooter operators to apply for permits in the city, with the exception of Manhattan. It is hoped the devices will offer a safer and more environmentally-friendly alternative for people commuting to the office. “This is about getting the public back to work moving again in a safe way,” Richard Corbett, the U.K. general manager at Swedish e-scooter firm Voi, told CNBC.

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Cathy Russey () is Online Editor at WT | Wearable Technologies and specialized in writing about the latest medical wearables and enabling technologies on the market. Cathy can be contacted at info(at)