In many ways, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world to a complete standstill. Both economically and socially, everyone has seen numerous changes to day-to-day life that look like they’re here to stay.
While the pandemic has presented its challenges, that doesn’t mean people aren’t up to the task. Some of the most prominent individuals and businesses in the tech community are making great strides in adapting to the new commercial environment the world has found itself in.
Contactless Delivery Apps
In order to stem the tide of COVID-19 infection, consumers are looking for ways to avoid physical interactions with employees at the stores they visit. Several common solutions have already sprung up such as encouraging contactless payment or putting up window shields. However, people are looking for simple, easy ways to get what they want without risking any sort of infection, which is where apps come in.
Many businesses are looking into how to launch an app due to consumer preference. Companies that previously didn’t feel the need are in the process of testing, marketing, and putting their unique applications on app stores to meet new market demand. App options are not only including delivery but also contactless pickup at a physical location.
This trend has primarily affected the restaurant industry, but its effects can be seen throughout several different economic sectors, including cannabis dispensaries, retail outlets, and drug stores.
Manufacturers Repurposing Their Technology
Due to the highly infectious and hazardous nature of COVID-19, healthcare workers are in desperate need of personal protective equipment (PPE). Early in the pandemic, hospitals saw a stark shortage of protective equipment that was necessary for saving lives and keeping people safe.
Fortunately, a multitude of manufacturing companies played their part to volunteer many of their facilities for PPE production. This has included signature companies such as GE, but also smaller entities such as Graffiti Shield Inc., an LA-based company that creates products that protect buildings against graffiti.
While most companies that shifted their manufacturing towards the production of PPE were able to do so due to how their facilities could easily be reorganized, some businesses took it a step further and used their already existing technology as a base for new and innovative forms of PPE production.
Cubic, a corporation that specialized in defense and transportation solutions, has recently repurposed its antenna manufacturing division to focus on the development of ventilator technology. Using the antenna designs they made for military contracts, Cubic focused much of its energy on the production of the VentiGATR, a new type of easily producible ventilator that can be used to save lives in the worst COVID-19 cases.
The VentiGATR is currently awaiting FDA approval and will be used under an FDA Emergency Use Authorization request if it is deemed to be safe and reliable.
Stores Are Creating Automated Warehouses to Meet Online Demand
While the trend of grocery stores offering online delivery options predates the pandemic by several years, its popularity has skyrocketed since COVID-19 hit the scene. However, not many stores are well-equipped to deal with the volume of requests they’re facing, causing many to seek innovative solutions.
One such solution has been offered by Takeoff Technologies, a retail company that helps businesses meet consumer interests in the digital age. Takeoff is able to set-up small warehouse-like operations behind grocery stores that have robots that automatically sort through and compile orders in the event of staff shortages. This has proven to not only be useful for meeting customer demands but also encourage social-distancing.
These automated warehouses are a good way for smaller grocery operations to compete with industry titans like Amazon, which already have the resources to field countless warehouses dedicated to online orders.
The Bottom Line
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses everywhere to make changes and develop innovative solutions unlike any time before. Technology has provided a way in which companies can better cater to the needs of their customers and stay afloat, or even thrive, in the face of economic shutdowns and social distancing measures.
Technological innovations have also provided the means by which smaller businesses might be able to become better suited to the needs of society at large in spite of competition from giant corporations.