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Infosys turns pandemic experience into ‘Return to workplace solutions’

Cloud-and-AI powered video surveillance, maybe even GPS and wearables, to detect close-standers and mask-avoiders

Indian services giant Infosys has turned the COVID-19 pandemic into a new range of “Return to workplace solutions.”

As explained by Nitesh Bansal, senior veep and global head of engineering services, the company has bottled the experiences it gathered making Infosys’ own campuses safe for small numbers of workers. The result is the following suite of services:

  • Elevated Body Temperature screening that uses AI on edge devices so that Infosys customers can “screen their workforce or visitors in real-time for possible infection to isolate them and prevent them from entering the establishment”;
  • On-premises contact tracing using GPS and Bluetooth Low Energy - opt-in only, promise!
  • Mask-wearing and social-distancing-compliance assessment using video analytics, to “provide alerts when masks are not detected, or the distance between people walking together or gathering at a place is not sufficient.” Infosys thinks “smart wearables” might help, too;
  • A COVID-19 Chatbot “to help answer employee queries related to return to work scenarios
  • Contactless biometrics, because fingerprint readers are not a good idea if they’re covered in coronavirus;
  • Occupancy and workspace analytics to help businesses plan appropriate densities in their workspaces, automate cleaning and – importantly – figure out how to get everyone into lifts while maintaining social distancing.

Infosys also offers tools to plan maintenance of heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems to keep them safe during the plague.

Infosys is not alone in turning the pandemic into product: Salesforce has decided that CRM is basically a form of contact-tracing, while ServiceNow has added workplace safety apps to its platform.

But this is the first instance The Register has encountered of COVID-specific services.

The offerings certainly make sense given employers’ obligations to provide safe workplaces, plus the fact that in the current virus-vandalised economy there’ll be less work for the likes of Infosys to tackle so it might as well try to turn the mess into cash.

And Nitesh Bansal thinks the cash will flow for a long time.

Not only now for many years to come we will have to continue to deploy such mechanisms for those who come to workplaces as employees, associates or customers," he said.

Which also means years for workspace surveillance to become accepted, rather than a temporary necessity. ®

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