The Battery-powered return to normality

The worldwide pandemic caused by the Covid-19 has given us all very few reasons to feel positive. Still, the technology industry, particularly in the field of wearable tech, has risen to meet the crisis head on.

In this article, we will highlight just two of the inspiring new products that have recently come online to help in the fightback toward normalcy in human activity and workplace production.

Monitoring our airways

Keeping a close eye on people and any possible symptoms they may be displaying will also become part of life in the future.

It has become the norm for your temperature to be taken before entering a building in many cities in Asia. Still, even this drastic change from previous everyday behaviour may not suffice in the battle against Covid-19 as it is only one symptom, and not everyone has a high fever anyway.

Instead, experts are predicting that it is people’s airways that will need vigilant watching. One such device has been developed by Iceni Labs, a company that usually specialises in engineering projects.

According to Alexander Giles of Iceni Labs, a piece of tech already in use by the British military could have another benefit in this field.

This piece of tech can distinguish between human breathing patterns due to the application of a unique algorithm.

Every breathe you take

Using radar with very high bandwidth, the device developed by Iceni has been successfully used to determine whether or not enemy troops might be hiding due to its ability to pick up on distinctly human breathing.
This use of technology is not by any means new but using it to purely track human breathing patterns and not any other movement in the air is a breakthrough. Canine breathing patterns are usually between fifteen to sixty breaths a minute as opposed to human patterns of about twelve to sixteen.

The producers of this new equipment had already begun looking into the practical uses of this kit in helping medical scenarios achieve improved outcomes, quite a while before the dreaded coronavirus struck. In conjunction with medics at the Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire, they had been monitoring patients who have sleeping conditions effected by their breathing problems. The trials were a great success, and breaths could be minutely recorded.

This success in being able to monitor even small changes in the respiratory system makes it, of course, a possible essential tool in the early detection of the symptoms of coronavirus. Generally, unless you are in an intensive care unit, it is challenging for hospital staff to accurately measure a patient’s breath, relying on a manual method of counting breaths. Using this device in general hospital wards could dramatically help detect changes.

By continually checking someone’s temperature and also being able to monitor their breathing, the fight against Covid-19 will be further aided.

Unobtrusive monitoring

Another feature of the monitor is that it is in no way obtrusive as long as it is near the patient; it can monitor them without any need to be hooked up to yet another machine.

It is now genuinely accepted that this joint approach to caring for a patient is the way forward, as the device shows how quickly the breathing patterns can change and when they do, medical intervention can be used a lot quicker than previously available. The U.K Research and Innovation council have already awarded Iceni funds so they can run a track on patients suffering from coronavirus.

The machines can equally be adapted for use in airport departure/arrival lounges and offices as well as their existing use in medical settings. At the cost of roughly £2,000, these machines could be a game-changer in what may become a long and drawn-out battle against Covid-19.

The quickest way to get back to any form of normality will surely be an ability to quickly monitor people’s temperature as well as their breathing status. These devices could become a vital tool in this ongoing fight.

Virtual Queues

To anyone who has been to the attractions at somewhere like Alton Towers the notion of a virtual queue will already be very familiar, passes that give you access to the rides without having to waste time standing in long interminable lines of waiting people have been developed by a British firm called Accesso.

In this current environment, firms are begging for a way of being able to speed up their customer’s access to their premises.

The Covid-19 outbreak has led to an upsurge in inquiries from businesses that would not usually of been interested in a virtual queuing system. This has been a significant boost to Accesso as the temporary closure of the many attractions it provides tickets for had been a potentially damaging shot across its bows. The firm has had an unsettled period since 2018 on the stock market, and these new enquiries are very welcome.

Steve Brown Accesso Chief Executive has seen potential clients from many different sectors of the economy; they all have one thing in common though a need to get customers through the door to their businesses. A big blocker to these firms opening up is the need to implement a faster queuing system, and this is where Accesso is coming to their aid.

Of course, small businesses and shops with a relatively small footfall can manage the new need for social distancing with simple measures, such as signage and paper tickets. Still, the larger the place of business, the more there is a need for technological apparatus to aid the workforce and keep queues at a minimum.

Executives at Accesso and other similar businesses are imagining a scenario where the consumer will get used to this high tech solution. So in future, the problem of waiting to gain access to a product or service might well be a thing of the past. This is just one application of technology which might well last longer than the present pandemic.

Back to normal

As you can see, the technology world is at the forefront of the struggle back towards normalcy. History has shown us that adversity – think of the remarkable number of innovations that came as a result of the Second World War – is often the spur for some of humankind’s great leaps forward. Many observers feel that the Covid-19 might be one of those periods where dire necessity becomes the mother of invention.