Vodacom IoT Solutions get people back to business safely

1 June 2020 News

As businesses across the country start returning to work, the safety of employees and customers is of paramount importance. Vodacom has created specific digital solutions to support businesses as they navigate their return to work post-lockdown.

Businesses will have to make changes to their regular operations in order to open and stay safe. The government has set out strict and official guidelines for companies going back to work that include firm hygiene procedures and social distancing. Technology can play a critical role in helping businesses implement these back-to-work protocols through the use of IoT (Internet of Things), AI (artificial intelligence) and analytics.

These solutions are designed to augment organisations’ existing screening processes and be guided by the analytics. The solutions are delivered as a platform that can easily be integrated into existing infrastructure and include:

Thermal cameras

One of the primary symptoms consistent with COVID-19 is an elevated body temperature. The use of thermal imaging cameras previously applied in the manufacturing industries can be applied to detect persons with raised body temperatures if required by an organisation’s screening process. The Vodacom Business Thermal Scanner can be used to monitor employees’ or customers’ body temperature from a safe distance as they enter a specific area or building.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics will then measure the employee’s or customer’s temperature and in the event it is elevated, generate a notification for further screening protocols in accordance with their specific Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) guidelines. The technology provides thermal measurements which are non-invasive for those being monitored and produce objective, instant results to guide HSE personnel.

Social distancing monitoring technology

Using an existing camera feed or a Vodacom-supplied camera, this provides a platform to monitor people within an area and report back on distances between them. Using artificial intelligence capabilities, the technology assists in monitoring the social distancing guideline set out by government while it also counts the number of people who enter or leave an area. The monitoring and tracking of distance between people is critical to ensure that businesses remain compliant to the regulatory and governance policies put in place.

PPE monitoring

This IoT solution uses existing camera feeds and through visual analytics can effectively identify individuals that are not using personal protective equipment (PPE), more specifically face masks. This can be integrated into workflows or any external orchestration layer and gives businesses the ability to effectively identify and respond to their Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) protocols.

“As many businesses start planning a return to work after lockdown, we must ensure that we all play our part in limiting the spread of COVID-19. We want to support businesses by providing the tools necessary to not only improve health and safety but also to comply with guidelines and regulations that have been set by the presidency,” says Peter Malebye, the managing executive for IoT at Vodacom Business.

These solutions have been designed to support the wide range of industries on the frontline of the nation’s fight against the current pandemic, as well as those looking to prepare for when current restrictions are eased. To enable use in different situations, the technology has been developed in different tiers to make it easily accessible and can be scaled as and when required.”

The installation of these technologies at the entrances of public institutions such as hospitals and clinics, and commercial establishments like corporate offices, shops and retail outlets will play a role in curbing the spread of the virus.

“Vodacom Business is committed to supporting businesses and IoT solutions are central to business success in our increasingly digitised world. In this climate, companies need to accelerate their digital transformation strategies through the implementation of IoT solutions like these,” adds Malebye.

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