The ongoing pandemic has changed our lives in a sudden and radical way. We never expected the new viral infection that started spreading in China at the beginning of the year to turn into a pandemic, sending billions into isolation.
The changes brought forth by the pandemic were massive. We never expected for the top gadgets from CES 2020 to be the only ones we’ve had the chance to sample in person. We never expected schools and workplaces, pubs and restaurants, movie theaters and stadiums to close. We never expected our lives to change this profoundly by a virus many dismiss as “little more than the flu”, ignoring the fact that we don’t have a vaccine to prevent it from spreading or a cure to heal those infected. But when problems arise, solutions are always found by the brightest minds among us. Innovators and creatives around the world are working on making our lives more livable in the aftermath of the pandemic. Sometimes, their solutions are grandiose and complex – other times, they are as simple as a novel.
No-Touch Door Handles
One of the ways in which SARS-COV-2 spreads is through surfaces. An infected person coughs or sneezes, the virus-laden droplets land on various objects around them, then another person touches those, then touches their face, and the virus can infiltrate them through their mucous membranes – mouth, nose, eyes. Considering how long the virus survives on various surfaces, avoiding touching these is vital in slowing the spread of the disease. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many innovators have created ways to interact with objects without touching them with our hands.
One UK-based company designed the Hygienehook which is very simple but incredibly useful in opening doors without actually touching them, thus preventing people from any unnecessary contact with door handles and similar surfaces.
Social Distancing Bracelets
Keeping your distance from others is another way people can reduce the risk of getting infected. Social distancing was among the first measures imposed by governments. As people don’t carry a measuring tape around wherever they go, it may be hard to maintain the right distance between them – especially in more crowded spaces like airports, supermarkets, and some workplaces, too.
Belgian tech company Rombit has found a way to remind people in their workplace about keeping their distance through a bracelet. The Romware Covid Radius was created with crowded workplaces in mind. It has the size and shape of a smartwatch, and it constantly monitors the distance between workers to help them keep away. The bracelet also logs each encounter where the distance wasn’t respected, and if an infection appears, it also helps with contact tracing. The product is currently being tested at the Port of Antwerp.
Finally, here’s one innovative solution for the time people will resume travel in large numbers: Glassafe, a solution to reduce the risk of spreading infection on an airplane.
Italian aircraft interior producer Aviointeriors has come up with a kit that creates an isolated volume around the passengers to avoid or minimize contact, thus reducing the possibility of the infections’ spread. The best part is that the solution can be installed on existing seats and, as it is made of a completely transparent material, it doesn’t disrupt the aesthetics of the airplane interior.