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Tech companies debut products to help with safe work resumption

By Sun Chi | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-08-06 17:26

A smart face mask that is able to translate from Japanese into eight other languages was launched recently by Japanese startup Donut Robotics. [Photo/Donut Robotics]

A translating mask

A smart face mask that is able to translate from Japanese into eight other languages was launched recently by Japanese startup Donut Robotics, CNN reported on Thursday.

The mask, dubbed "C-Mask," connects to an app via Bluetooth, and transcribes speech to texts which are then sent via the user's smartphone. It also allows users to make calls remotely without speaking directly into their phones.

In addition, voices can be amplified by the mask in case a wearer can't be heard normally.

Lightning-fast thermometer

A thermal imagery temperature measurement system developed by China's Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co Ltd is able to read body temperatures within one second, with a measuring margin of error of ±0.3 C when the measured temperature is between 30 and 45 C. The system is able to work around the clock in all weather, with a maximum distance for accurate measuring of three meters.

The system has been applied by more than 20 power companies and over 40 financial institutions and in operation venues of firms such as TCL and Shuanghui since February 2020, the tech company said.

Risk-tracking apps

Apple and Google co-developed a tracking app in April that helps users know whether they have a close contact history with COVID-19 patients. Supported by database and Bluetooth, the app can alert users of possible contact or infection before they are diagnosed.

PWC also developed a similar app called ACT that has been put into public use since May.

The app monitors and tracks staff members who have close contact history with a COVID-19 patient, and inform the HR department of who has a higher infection risk. CNBC said in its report PWC plans to sell ACT to its clients and will apply it to itself as its 275,000 employees go back to work. Currently, ACT is doing a test run at PWC's Shanghai office.

Contactless elevator

Elevators are seen as one of the places with higher infection risk for the novel coronavirus, as people may contract the virus via touch.

TechMax Solution, an Indian company, has developed a contactless system call Sparshless. According to a CNN report, the system consists of a panel fitted alongside existing elevator buttons. It allows users to select a floor by pointing their finger at each button from a distance of 10 to 15 millimeters, triggering an infrared signal which tells the elevators where they want to go.

Sparshless has been installed in 15 buildings. Firms from Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Brazil have expressed interest, TechMax Solution founder Bhavin Ahir said.

Killing COVID with UV rays

Taking a different approach than TechMax, other companies are trying to contain the infection at the source.

The agency in charge of public transit in New York City announced on May 19 it would use 150 dual-headed mobile ultraviolet light lamps from PURO Lighting, a US company, in the city's public transport system to kill COVID-19, according to CNN.

The ultraviolet lamps are also equipped in some US hospitals, hotels and manufacturing bases, according to AP.

Similarly, Dutch lighting provider Signify is increasing investment in its shortwave ultraviolet business in the hope to contain the virus.

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