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Four new tech solutions to promote health, safety of employees, customers

Photo credit: Honeywell

With COVID-19 changing the way many retailers operate their stores and distribution centers, tech providers are offering innovative solutions designed to reduce the risk of infection.

Here is a look at four new solutions.

• Reflexis Systems: Intelligent workforce management and execution solutions provider Reflexis Systems is deploying facial recognition on its tablet clocks to bolster hygiene in stores. The new Reflexis Tablet Clock supports facial recognition capability out of the box, eliminating the need to physically touch common surfaces. The touchless system, which verifies an employee's face in seconds, removing the need for time cards, badges, keys or badge numbers, will benefit front-line, essential employees at grocers, convenience stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, hospitals and other facilities, eliminating a potential point of infection, the company said. 
The new tablet clock is compatible with Android and iOS operating systems, and as users register for face recognition, they follow system cues to capture their likeness from multiple angles. Once registered, store associates will be able to scan their face and then use voice commands for clock in/out and meal punch in/out for a totally touchless experience. Users will still be able to clock in and out by entering their badge ID number if they so choose.
• Sensormatic Solutions: The ShopperTrak Real-Time Occupancy solution helps retailers with understanding shopper density within a store for compliance with social distancing guidelines or ordinances, and to meet maximum limits. It also helps optimize cleaning schedules for common facilities or high-touch areas, such as self-checkouts, and provides prompt up-to-the-minute understanding of staffing needs for efficient fulfillment of buy online, pickup in-store or curbside pickup orders.

In addition, Sensormatic is offering thermal imaging solutions that provide thermal and color images of individuals or crowds entering the store. If the camera detects elevated temperatures above defined thresholds, a notification will be sent to store or warehouse managers in order to help maintain proper health and safety measures.

• Honeywell: Honeywell is piloting a temperature monitoring solution that incorporates advanced, infrared imaging technology and artificial intelligence algorithms to conduct non-invasive, preliminary screening of personnel entering a facility.

The Honeywell ThermoRebellion system is designed to be rapidly deployed at the entryway of a distribution center or other commercial building to quickly and efficiently identify whether personnel exhibit an elevated facial temperature. As individuals pass in front of a high-resolution, thermal imaging camera, their skin temperature is automatically detected within two seconds and displayed on an accompanying monitor.

This can alert a person with an elevated temperature to seek additional screening, according to Honeywell, while also giving operators gain reliable, real-time information about personnel entering their facilities, enabling them to take measures to keep their premises safe and secure.

The system can also identify if individuals are wearing the required personal protective equipment needed for entering the building. 

Honeywell is piloting its new temperature monitoring solution at two of its U.S. production facilities. The system integrates seamlessly with the Honeywell Forge platform and Honeywell's Healthy Building Solutions that provide a holistic view of a building's health based on key factors such as air quality, social distancing, occupant flow, sanitation, wellness density and governance adherence.

• Indyme: SmartDome, from shopper engagement and loss prevention technologies provider Indyme, is designed to heighten real-time awareness of social distancing in retail stores – especially in busy areas frequented by multiple shoppers. 

The device looks like the dome security cameras that are installed on the ceilings of stores nationwide. But it operates much differently: Upon detecting people in the monitored area, it announces a message such as "For your safety, please maintain at least six feet of social distance."

SmartDome, which is battery-operated, can be mounted above areas where distancing reminders are most needed, such as checkouts, service counters, entrances and busy departments.

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