A district government in Seoul has installed and switched on 10 smart bus shelters they say are safe to huddle in – with protection against the coronavirus AND the elements.
The glass-walled transit stops in the Seongdong-gu district check body temperatures at the door, blocking entry if you are running a fever. They also have UV disinfection lamps, and hand sanitizer dispensers.
A side wall of the stops has a large flat panel display running bus schedules updates and informations, as well as a live cam feed of traffic in the immediate area.
The bus shelter project is supported by LG Electronics, in both the design and underlying technology. LG does flat panels, of course, but they also things like cooling systems and solar panels.
“We have installed all the available anti-coronavirus measures we can think of into this booth,” Kim Hwang-yun, a district official in charge of the Smart Shelter project, told the Guardian.
Since they were installed last week, each booth has been used by about 300 to 400 people a day, Kim said.
A separate report in the Korea Herald says the shelter system has ultraviolet light air sterilizers for preventing transmission of airborne viruses. The air sterilizer breaks up 96 percent to 99 percent of virus particles, said an official.
There are 10 in place in the the northeast part of the mega-city, and more to come. They cost about $84,000 each, so this is a bit more than a pole, sign and bench, but I’m thinking ad-supported transit shelters aren’t generally cheap anyway.
The system is obviously not infallible, as thermal readers have been deemed “notoriously inaccurate” by experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci, and the impact of UV-C light depends a lot on how it is applied.
All things considered, if the case rates were high, which they are not in Seoul, I’d wait for my bus outside that shelter. At 400 occupants a day, that’s something like 30 people an hour over a 14 hour day – so they’re not packing people in.
Interesting application. But they’d get the crap beat out of them in many cities.
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.