Singapore administrators are trialing a new contact tracing system to ensure the safety of guests as the country resumes in-person events. The system debuted at this week’s Geo Connect Asia (GCA) conference at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, though administrators are hoping that it will eventually support larger events like the World Economic Forum scheduled for August.
Under the new system, each guest will receive a dongle when they register at the venue. The dongle is attached to that person’s lanyard, so people can wear it around their neck as they go about their day. The dongles will gather location data from each user, and that data will be uploaded to a centralized database via Bluetooth receivers scattered throughout the facility.
Administrators will then be able to access that database to monitor the location of each visitor, and to track their interactions with other guests to make sure that they are following the event’s social distancing requirements. GCA expected to have approximately 1,000 guests on-site. However, those guests are divided into groups of 50 people, and attendees are not permitted to mix with people outside their designated zone. Singapore officials have advised guests to download the SafeEvent mobile app, which allows administrators to send alerts and notifications when safety guidelines are violated.
GCA is also using facial recognition kiosks at registration to minimize the amount of contact that visitors have with event staff. To use them, guests must first upload a picture to a portal, and the kiosks will then be able to identify that person when they pick up their lanyard. The technology is able to recognize people wearing masks, so people will not need to remove their facial coverings to take advantage of the system.
The dongles were developed by Viatick and Trakomatic, and are replacing an earlier app-based system that forced guests to keep their phone’s Bluetooth activated for the duration of the event. That app was piloted at Singapore’s TravelRevive conference in November.
Singapore launched a national SingPass Face Verification solution in October. Multiple event organizers are trying to use apps and contact tracing to improve health outcomes during the pandemic, with the Philadelphia Convention Center recently revealing that it will be using Daon’s VeriFLY app to monitor the health of its employees. Daon also opened an office in Singapore at the tail end of last year.
Source: The Straits Times
March 26, 2021 – by Eric Weiss