Self-service automation post COVID-19: Integrated hand sanitizer could save lives.

Over the last 4 weeks we’ve witnessed a huge shift in the ways in which service workers interact with their customers. This shift won’t be a passing trend but a new reality for most businesses and essential services. It is clear that for the foreseeable future service design needs to adapt to new health and safety needs of the public. Organisations of all sizes across many sectors will need to find innovative ways in which to take the concept of ‘customer care’ to new heights. 

In this new COVID-19 environment, self-service kiosks offer an alternative to human contact; and when designed with public health in mind can play a part in reducing the spread of viruses in the future. While self-service automation traditionally offers service providers the opportunity to streamline interaction and tasks, could we go further and incorporate public safety initiatives? Mirroring the wider shift in customer service, the kiosk of post-COVID needs to adapt to new public health and safety needs.

Putting public health and safety first.

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This isn’t just a matter of opportunity but urgency; COVID-19 has reinforced the effects of virus spreading through human interaction and the importance of hygiene. As service sectors begin to rely on self-service automation, we need to ensure that tomorrow’s kiosks are safe and adapting to environmental changes. 

Whilst kiosks provide an alternative to human contact, let’s not forget the hazards. Touch screens and keypads in high-traffic areas can be used hundreds of times a day. As more people increase their hygiene awareness, commonly touched items that don’t have evidence that they were recently cleaned are a major concern. 

After thirty years designing and building technology, we have experienced and adapted to change before. We have been exposed to many changes in public behaviour, especially with the adoption of new technologies and the expectation of excellent user experience. 

Whether it is technological, environmental or social change, we’ve seen how important it is to stay at the forefront of consumer behaviour and adapt our technology kiosks to the needs of the environment. 

Integrated hand sanitizer units to reduce the spread of COVID-10.

We have been working on new solutions for existing and new kiosks that will help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and give the public peace of mind.

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Our Research & Development team are designing numerous innovations to combat COVID-19. An immediate and long-term essential is the addition of hand sanitizer modules. We all know proper hand washing and sanitizing can prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other infections. 

Our hand sanitizer dispenser designs are modular to allow our clients to retrofit designs for easy installation on in-market kiosks. Proximity detectors are installed to ensure automation where possible.

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On the software side, the user experience will be adapted to incorporate a screen prompt encouraging customers to use the sanitizer prior to their self-service interactions. For vital public and health services interlocking software flags can be created to ensure the service doesn’t begin until the customer has sufficiently used the hand sanitizer. 

In terms of ongoing maintenance, our design philosophy has always been to find solutions that require minimal upkeep. The system will be able to self-count dispensing, notifying service providers when a sanitizer cartridge needs changing.   

We believe this level of precaution and public care will become vital in high-touch sectors such as retail and entertainment over the next 18-months and beyond.

Change now prepares us for the future. 

Tactics to combat Covid-19 will also allow organisations to future proof their service offering for other health outbreaks, whether it be reducing the common cold or another pandemic. 

As industry leaders, we have an obligation to do as much as we possibly can to ensure that we can adapt to new changes in our environment and provide consumers with safe self-service kiosks. Over the coming weeks we’ll be sharing further innovations from our R&D team including delving into adapting gaming technology for contactless self-service, temperature scanning and the development of self-cleaning units.

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