Social-distancing fixes by startups as India begins to open up

As Unlock 1.0 plays out across the country, tech-based solutions to handle crowding at malls, offices and markets as well as for contactless shopping and parking have gained ground, with a string of startups like Staqu, Park+ and Magneto CleanTech launching services in these segments.

Staqu, an Artificial Intelligence-based security focused startup that earlier catered to the e-commerce industry, is now using its video analytics platform Jarvis to let organizations check if government directives are being followed, based on CCTV-based analytics in real time.

“Through the analytics from the cameras, Jarvis will send real-time alerts to check how many people are entering a lift, wearing masks, maintaining social distance and hygiene,” said Atul Rai, co-founder of Staqu, which is also part of the Covid-19 Response Committee formed by government planner NITI Aayog. Staqu’s offerings, under the umbrella of video analytics, include Covid-19 identification, tracing of suspected infected individuals, monitoring of personal protective equipment (PPE), security, safety, hygiene and analytics.

Its platform, which uses a combination of thermal sensing and face recognition technologies, allows corporates or malls to identify people, including employees, who may show signs of illness and get real-time alerts on their health condition. The data is, however, anonymised and privacy is not compromised, said Rai. Staqu has tied-up with 15 partners, including Microsoft, in metros and in small cities like Jaipur and Udaipur. “Through them, we are reaching out to corporates, malls, and the retail industry,” Rai said.

Restaurant table reservation service, DineOut, has already incorporated the platform across 200 restaurants, including chains like Keventers. “In any dining experience, the kitchen is the black-box. Through Staqu, we will screen the live feed of the kitchens to our customers to build confidence among them to dine out,” said Ankit Mehrotra, CEO of DineOut, which is owned by Times Internet, part of the Times Group.

On the other hand, Gurugram-based startup Park+ has tied up with malls to enable them to control the entry of customers at any given point in time through what is known as a mall ‘pass’ on their phones after checking their temperatures.

It works like this: when a customer enters a mall, she is asked to scan a QR code which is verified through a one-time password, allowing the mall to track her. Through the online tracking, Park+ also provides directions to customers to cut short on time spent inside and also allows users to pay digitally, curbing the use of cards.