O2 announces new Covid-19 safeguarding solutions

O2 Business is rolling out a suite of innovative digital services for businesses to help the nation get back to work safely in a Covid-19 world. The services, which will enable fast, secure and safe access into and around the workplace, will also help give the UK public safer access to gyms, restaurants and other leisure activities by helping to manage the risk of contamination.

As lockdown eases, many businesses are understandably facing operational challenges and anxieties about the return to work, with The British Chambers of Commerce calling for companies to install “crystal-clear official guidance” on safety. To help businesses adapt, O2 has partnered with specialists at Bell Integration to launch a suite of IoT safeguarding solutions for businesses.

These include a thermal imaging tablet with contactless visitor management, a handheld thermal imaging scanner, and a social distancing room management solution.

The thermal imaging solution is the first all-in-one infrared temperature sensing tablet, which can read surface body temperature (accurate to +/- 0.3 °C) from a distance of one metre. This service is combined with the capability to manage visitors from a distance and enable a contactless check-in experience – where each visitor will need to use a unique QR code to verify their attendance. All visitor data is secure and GDPR compliant, and will be able to support the government’s track and trace efforts if required.

The handheld thermal imaging scanner is accurate to 0.5 degrees. This is the highest possible accuracy via a single camera and compares to existing handheld thermal imaging devices that commonly have an accuracy of +/- 2 degrees. This scanner can be used in controlled locations with a limited number of people, as well as situations with high footfall, such as airports, transport services and public spaces.

Finally, the social distancing room management solution monitors the people count and occupancy status of communal areas such as bathrooms, kitchens and meeting areas. A simple digital display unit shows green or red as to when it is safe to enter a room or communal space, in accordance with social distancing rules.

Jo Bertram, Managing Director at O2 Business, said, “We’re delighted to be rolling out these new solutions to help British business reopen their doors safely. During lockdown, connectivity became one of the UK’s most valued services and we have continued to look at ways we can use our customer-centric networks to support this country.

“As we look to rebuild Britain, these new COVID-19 solutions will help minimise the risk of spreading the virus as the nation returns to work – through automation and reducing moments of physical interaction. It will not only help businesses get back on their feet but bolster their confidence as they reopen their doors over the coming weeks and months.”

John Davenport, Sales Director at Bell Integration added, “We are excited to partner with O2 to deliver COVID-19 safeguarding solutions. IoT can play a major role in maintaining social distancing and helping to prevent the spread of the virus. We believe O2’s extensive connectivity, combined with Bell Integration’s experience in deploying cutting-edge IoT solutions, will enable organisations to return to the workplace safely.”

Last month, O2 Business announced the rollout of a new suite of digital solutions including virtual queuing, staff scheduling and appointment booking technologies. These proved successful in allowing O2 to reopen its retail stores, and are now being offered to a range of O2 customers including retailers, supermarkets, stadia and healthcare businesses.

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Charlotte Hathway

Charlotte is the editor of Comms Business and writes content that looks to inform and educate the Channel about the latest technology and business developments across the industry. Prior to her current role, she wrote for other MA Business titles New Electronics, Land Mobile and Critical Communications Today. Before moving into journalism, she spent five years working in public relations and has worked with various technology companies spanning telecommunications, cyber security and software development.

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