Numerous companies have been announcing new products – like access control and thermal sensing displays – to help run businesses in the midst of COVID-19, but Barcelona-based retail tech firm Beabloo has gone several steps further by launching a full solution designed to address a variety of needs for what may be a new norm for retail.
Called Interaction Care, Beabloo says the solution should guarantee compliance with safety measures, including social distancing, body temperature, and traffic in enclosed physical spaces.
Says the company:
At first, it will be implemented in essential businesses, such as banks, pharmacies, and supermarkets. However, implementation in the retail and public sectors will be possible once countries begin easing up confinement measures. Interaction care is a technology solution that gives businesses and other physical spaces control over the occupancy and distribution of customers to keep people safe.
In turn, customers and visitors feel more at ease knowing they are in a space that complies with official guidelines. This product is potentially suitable for installation in factories and offices, which could make it easier for people to return to work with more peace of mind.
Beabloo is active in several countries and says it will market this internationally.
“Our main motivation when designing this new solution was to help our clients protect their customers and employees during this unprecedented situation. We present Interaction Care as an integrated solution that uses tried-and-tested technologies to minimize the risk of contagion in any public space,” says Jaume Portell, CEO and cofounder of Beabloo.
The Interaction Care is described as an “integrated system with digital signage, thermal cameras, people counting sensors, and Beabloo’s content management system (to coordinate messages that appear on the screens). This collection of technologies measures different KPIs that detect interactions in real time both inside and outside the physical space. All data is collected based on established privacy standards.”
Outside the business, a screen can allow entry based on the occupancy density and the flow of people in and out of the space. It can also measure the body temperature of anyone who enters, and prioritize entry for people in at-risk groups.
Inside the space, Interaction Care identifies high-risk zones and displays messages to remind people of security measures on screens. It also provides interaction data to managers so they can see which zones receive the most traffic to focus sanitation efforts on those areas.
This technology provides many advantages to businesses. In addition to protecting visitors from contagion, this solution also helps employees minimize their exposure to high-risk areas, generates objective data on the impact of management decisions, and measures the risk level of different zones in real time.
Beabloo’s tech partners on this include Intel and Microsoft, so the components of this will be Windows-driven.
Packaging up an entire solution is interesting, but I don’t see anything here that isn’t already out there as individual components from a variety of vendors. I wonder how many retailers – closed or open and seeing greatly-reduced traffic and sales – will be in a position to buy the “whole nine yards” presented with this solution. They may be more interested in fixing an immediate problem, like access control for stores that need to limit the numbers of shopper allowed inside at any given time.
On the other hand, there will be a percentage of retailers with the budget and inclination to opt for something that addresses several things through a single provider, and simplifies what could be some complicated mash-ups between sensors, computer vision, signage and other tech.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.