Disinfectant drones, smart masks: anti-COVID gadgets are legion

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From drones capable of spraying disinfectant in stadiums to masks measuring breathing, the tech sector is redoubling its imagination to create innovative products against the coronavirus.

Several of these gadgets were showcased this week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the popular consumer electronics show that wrapped up on Thursday and took place entirely online this year due to the pandemic.

The manufacturer Draganfly has unveiled a drone spraying from the air an antibacterial product to cleanse a sports arena.

“This gives public spaces the opportunity to reopen,” explained the boss of the Canadian company.

Draganfly has also designed a camera that can send social distancing alerts or detect changes in heart and respiratory rates or blood pressure, which sometimes are warning signs of coronavirus contamination.

In the same vein, the Taiwanese artificial intelligence specialist FaceHeart presented software to be installed on cameras to measure vital signs on a daily basis using different algorithms.

In the field of connected portable accessories (“wearables”), the American start-up BioIntelliSense has invented the BioButton, a self-adhesive badge to be applied to the chest in order to calculate the skin temperature, the heart rate or the frequency of the cough.

Paired with mobile applications, the BioButton “represents a considerable advance in the design of reliable medical monitors, easy to use and with a good quality / price ratio”, assures the boss of the company, James Mault.

The proliferation of tracking technologies since the start of the pandemic has raised concerns among consumer and civil liberties organizations, which question the respect for privacy and the confidentiality of data.

On its site, BioIntelliSense ensures compliance with American law on the protection of medical data.

Smart doorbells

Essential objects of the pandemic, masks are also entitled to their share of innovations.

The company AirPop Health offers a mask model that collects respiratory data and contains a sensor that tells users when they need to replace their filter.

The mask from the Razer company is fitted with rechargeable respirators and is transparent “so that your interlocutors can discern facial movements such as a smile or a laugh and the hearing impaired can read the lips of a person wearing the mask”, assures the company.

The start-up Plott for its part created a video doorbell that takes the temperature of visitors from the front door of the home using an infrared sensor to check whether or not they have a fever.

A case designed by the Taiwanese company iWavenology emits an alarm signal if two people do not respect the rules of social distancing.

“The pandemic is forcing all of us to think about innovative solutions to ensure the safety of all our employees in the workplace,” said company founder Shau-Gang.

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