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As the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus) spread across the globe in early 2020, it became clear that new, innovative ways of doing business and maintaining social life would be needed. One of the first problems to tackle has been managing social distancing, and one company has broken ground with its augmented reality social distancing tool using sensors technology.
What is QueueSight?
QueueSight is among many proposed social distancing tools utilizing the latest technology. Uniquely, it is a customer-focused tool, rather than one aimed at the workforce.
The QueueSight system includes two main social distancing tools: ceiling-mounted sensors and a customizable visual engine with on-the-floor projectors.
The overhead sensors technology detects and tracks the distance between two people. When they get too close, the overhead projectors switch the display on the ground from green to red to provide clear feedback for people who are too close.
This demonstration video shows the QueueSight system in operation:
QueueSight Demo (Grouping / Perimeter Distancing)
Video Credit: Crafted Design/YouTube.com
The result is an augmented reality (AR) social distancing tool that uses sensors technology to keep people safely distanced in situations where crowds or queues are likely to occur.
QueueSight can be used in a high number of commercial settings. It can be applied anywhere that has a queue, for example, airports or grocery stores, as well as places where large crowds naturally form such as sports stadiums, concert venues and casinos.
QueueSight was developed by Crafted Design, a multimedia and audio-visual solutions provider based in Florida, Orlando. Their portfolio includes unique and high-profile multimedia experiences in settings such as theme parks and education centers.
What motion sensors are available on the market?
QueueSight: An Innovative Social Distancing Tool
QueueSight can replace a low-tech social distancing tool that many of us are now familiar with. Grocery stores, restaurants and other establishments that could not close during lockdowns or are re-opening to the public have been painting or taping lines on the floor in queueing areas to indicate to customers how much distance they need to keep between one another.
By introducing feedback in the form of overhead projectors and the graphics engine, QueueSight makes it much more likely that customers will self-manage social distancing. The real-time sensors technology, coupled with graphics, creates a dynamic system that is responsive to the people it serves.
QueueSight’s graphics engine is also completely customizable. This means that establishments can include advertising content, corporate design, or useful information with the augmented reality social distancing tool.
What Social Distancing Tools are Currently Being Used in Industry?
QueueSight is among many social distancing tools that have recently entered the market. Unlike QueueSight, these intend to help employers keep their workforce safe with social distancing while at work.
For example, Kinexon Industries has created a wristwatch that uses ultra-wideband (UWB) technology to monitor employees’ real-time location and promote safe social distancing. Because of the UWB technology in Kinexon’s wearable social distancing tools, this system requires no additional infrastructure to operate.
Samsung has also launched a range of wearable social distancing tools for the workforce. Their smart wristwatch includes sensors technology and a suite of apps designed to ensure employees are aware of and able to quickly move when another person becomes too close.
Kinexon and Samsung have both included data privacy-compliant trace and tracking as options for employers to consider. When somebody in the workforce contracts the virus, their proximity to other employees in the last few weeks can be easily viewed, and at-risk employees can be alerted quickly.
The Kinexon solution utilizes real-time location systems (RLTS) technology to keep track of employees’ whereabouts. RLTS is similar to radio-frequency identification (RFID) in that it is a barcode-embedded tool for managing the flow of goods and materials in large-scale logistics and manufacturing operations.
However, there is one key difference that enables companies such as Kinexon to utilize it in social distancing tools: RLTS barcodes include a power source so that they can continuously transmit location.
RLTS is already widely used in logistics and manufacturing. For example, they RLTS can be used to monitor and then optimize forklift routes in large warehouses, or to locate parts in a factory or assembly room that could be in any number of CNC machines or assembly stations.
Siemens is also proposing RLTS monitoring solutions to help employers keep their workforce safe. For Siemens, however, the social distancing tools extend primarily to data-gathering. This is valuable information for employers, who can manage and implement policies or workflows that maximize the space between people to ensure a workforce that can stay as healthy as possible.
Dynamic Social Distancing Tools with Sensors Technology
The QueueSight system represents a step-change in social distancing tools. By using sensors technology and a graphics engine for immediate feedback, QueueSight is a much more dynamic product.
It is also passive, not requiring people to carry a wearable device and not collecting any data on users. This makes it ideal for commercial settings where the general public will likely not tolerate excessively intrusive social distancing tools.
The augmented reality social distancing tool also dovetails with other developments in multimedia and audio-visual content. Sensors technology, overhead projectors, glass and screen displays and wearable augmented reality are all converging to create a more customizable, marketable and information-rich world. QueueSight is at the forefront of this new world.
References and Further Reading
Crafted Design (2020). What We Do. Crafted AV. https://craftedav.com/
Kinexon (2020). Social Distancing Meets RLTS. Kinexon Industries. https://kinexon.com/blog/social-distancing-meets-rtls.
QueueSight (2020). QueueSight Press Release. Crafted AV. https://www.queuesight.com/news
Samsung (2020). Return to Work With Confidence. Samsung. https://www.samsung.com/us/business/solutions/topics/wearables/social-distancing-management/
Siemens (2020). Siemens offers real-time locating system for a safe production environment and optimized production processes. Siemens. https://press.siemens.com/global/en/pressrelease/siemens-offers-real-time-locating-system-safe-production-environment-and-optimized.
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