Clever Low-Tech COVID-19 Retail Access Solution Uses Cardboard, Bluetooth And Cheap LEDs

My first reaction when a PR pitch about a COVID-19 Store Traffic solution arrived by email today was pretty much: “Oh God, another one …”

Since the pandemic started, countless digital display and app solutions have come on the market, and a buyer or solutions provider would have to sort through a pile of them to find the right one.

SMB clients also have to find the money, at a time when everyone but groceries and cannabis dispensaries seems to be hurting. I just don’t see a lot of small businesses spending much money, even when they are challenged by store capacity and access control requirements.

BUT … I dutifully opened the email and was pleased to see a Toronto-based tech company has come up with a very cagey, low-cost solution that pairs a simple smartphone app with a printed cardboard box, a Bluetooth sensor and a couple of cheap LED light arrays in red and green. It needs a smartphone-style power cable, but given most SMB stores open like regular doors, a nearby plug or extension cord does the job.

Rather than $100s or $1,000s for a full digital signage solution, like portable sidewalk digital sandwich boards, the TraffikFlo sign costs $89 Canadian, which is like $67 USD.

You sync the unit to a phone, add some stickers to the box, apply it to a window or glass door, and you’re done.

The solution was cooked up by WXM. In its press release:

The new “TraffikFlo” device, is app-based and is officially LIVE and available in the App Store for android and iOS devices. The product is designed in Canada and a direct response to COVID-19 regulations and challenges businesses are facing in safely managing the capacity and flow of customers into their establishments.

TraffikFlo Loop from WXM TECH on Vimeo.

The new #TraffikFlo sign is an app-based product that can be downloaded through either Google Play or the App Store, and syncs via Bluetooth. As patrons enter, the user is able to add to the tally until the max number is reached, where the display will turn from green to red. As customers leave, users can subtract from the total, where the light will turn back to green.

“We are living in extraordinary times and businesses of all sizes are having to adapt in order to remain relevant and profitable,” said Damian Wright, Founder of WXM Tech. “With changing regulations being the new norm for businesses and customers, TraffikFlo was created to help store owners manage and adapt their capacities to help maintain the safety of both their staff and customers. 

#TraffikFlo is proudly designed in Canada and follows North American rules, regulations and standard practices.   Ostrich Algorithm was the brand design and brand name partner. The sign is FCC approved and further testing has been carried out to assure its safety. The product is now available for sale and will begin shipping to customers the first week of August.
 
Very clever!