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A look at how to use technology to answer the “what now” in a new normal

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It’s been less than a year since COVID-19 became part of the world’s vernacular, but its impact has been felt by everyone, in every way. And perhaps one of the biggest overnight changes was the way people work.

Businesses of every kind were forced not only to find new ways to get work done, but also to adhere to new safety guidelines while doing it. Companies were challenged with keeping business open, safe, and still profitable despite the loss of normal.

From normal to not

The need to automate some of these new requirements seemed obvious, and thermal scanners became part of this new normal that was emerging. Many companies have now invested in basic, check-the-box temperature checking devices. However, with the right insight and innovation, the same technology that enables these functionalities can be developed to meet the demands of an evolving new normal.

And we, at Reality Interactive, are doing just that.

In early stages, our AXSIS™ hub was a product that met the basic needs of helping employers screen their employees for COVID symptoms. However, we quickly realized its thermal scanner had legs. Long ones. And so did a global leading home improvement retailer. They reached out to us to evolve the device to meet their specific needs.

From basic to beyond

Now, the AXSIS™ hub is no longer just a product, but rather a platform—a digital hub—that can be customized to flex to the different needs of different industries with changing regulations and diverse staffing structures.

This fall, we rolled out 6,000 of our AXSIS™ hubs to a global leading home improvement retailer. So in November, when a New Jersey Executive Order mandated that all businesses had to conduct, log and report daily health checks of all employees consistent with the latest CDC guidance, this company had no problem doing so.

Currently, the AXSIS™ hub offers onsite, touch-free temperature taking, as well as the ability to pre-screen employees with customized questionnaires via their mobile device. The information is then integrated within Reality’s bitSHUTTLE® Content Management platform in real time. But, it also has the potential to control an entire building’s ecosystem—like lighting, climate and occupancy—automatically driven by real-time data analysis and usage needs. It could even integrate with a company’s existing loyalty program to support marketing initiatives.

“When we think about the future workspace, it’s all about owning the entrance – whether it’s a Fortune 100 office, a retail space, or a manufacturing plant. We can scale the technology to fit,” said Jim Ligotti, Partner, Reality Interactive. “We envision the AXSIS™ hub serving as an automated receptionist, a security team, even a collaboration-enabler… An employee will pre-screen for illness, scan a personalized QR code or facial recognition to access the building, and find a powered and climate-controlled workspace. Their manager and coworkers will know where they are and how best to reach them through an app-based dashboard, making communication and connection simpler.”

From survive to thrive

With this next level of innovation, employers will find their challenges are manageable; their upsides fruitful, especially with the political landscape changes expected in early 2021. Not only will smart technologies and green initiatives likely trend once again, but they’ll also be encouraged and rewarded.

The longevity and sustainability of this culture shift will undoubtedly be cemented in the health concerns and flexibility needs of the “new normal” workforce. And the AXSIS™ hub is helping employers build custom answers to the question of “so what now?”.