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Contact-free Controls Increase User Safety & Hygiene


Charlotte Mallo

The way we interact with content has rapidly changed during our lifetime. From physical pages, buttons, controllers and keyboards, to the touch screens and digital interfaces we use today, these control systems have allowed us to interact with content in ways that were unimaginable to everyday consumers as little as five years ago. 

These high utility and simple interfaces are rapidly accepted and adopted by society on a consumer and enterprise level. Just as smartphones quickly became a must-have for us all, hand tracking and gesture recognition technology is already here, and being implemented worldwide in retail, consumer experiences, enterprise applications and gaming. Those who are integrating this type of contact-free technology today will be the industry leaders in as little as a few years. 

In addition to improving efficiency, minimizing human contact with physical interfaces reduces the risk of transferring germs, a serious hygiene concern during this time. We have already extensively changed our lives and habits in light of the current global health crisis, with high impact in cities where social interactions and activities are substantially more frequent. Hand tracking and gesture recognition will be a part of building safer and more efficient cities through contact-free interfaces. 

According to a recent survey from Shekel Brainweigh Ltd., a company that develops weighing technology, nearly two-thirds of consumers are changing their grocery shopping habits in response to the pandemic, and 87% of shoppers say they would prefer to shop in stores with touchless or robust self-checkout options. More than 70% of shoppers are using touchless, robust self-checkout options or shopping at frictionless micro-markets (automated self-checkout technology that operates without an attendant). Overall, half of these consumers are aware of touchless self-checkout options. As cities and shopping centers redesign for efficient and hygienic retail experience, consumers are beginning to expect the deployment of touchless control options. For example, NCR is helping retailers to create touchless self-checkout experiences for customers and store associates. 

Travel also won’t be about returning to what we considered as normal, but about looking to a new normal of efficient and safe interactions with technology. Elenium has developed a contact-free airport kiosk that detects human temperature and heart rate, but also enables travelers to check-in using voice and head movement. This is one of many touchless kiosks that are bringing confidence to self-service and automated touchpoints in airports. 

On the forefront of risk these past few months, healthcare workers and patients are exposed to environments with significantly higher levels of risk. Patients of all ages are waiting in emergency rooms, lobbies, and hospital wings. Sharing magazines, toys and other entertainment options in this environment is a high risk. Bluewater is one company that has recognized this need for touchless displays in waiting rooms to humanize the patient experience, providing a positive engagement and a distraction, especially children, need the greatest amount of care. One way that Bluewater has used its touchless displays is for “active play” displays and walls, including interactive games and applications. 

All these devices share one hardware component that is necessary to integrate seamless and touchless interactivity, and that is a camera. NCR, Elenium and Bluewater represent the retail, healthcare and entertainment industries, just a few that are onboarding touchless controls for consumer experiences. By doing so, they are forging a strong relationship with users, and helping us all to rebound from the crisis at hand. At Clay AIR, we have the capability to power touchless controls through hand tracking and gesture recognition solutions to make the world a safer place for all.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to discuss potential integrations of touchfree controls technology.  



Enabling next generation interactivity with digital interfaces.