A revolution in how we interact with common technologies in our day-to-day life.
Designers and architects are thinking about how to make public life safer:
Contactless Architecture: Sensors and New Technologies for Indoor Daily Life
In the past 30 days, Amazon searches for touchless products such as automatic shoe cover dispensers, touch free soap dispensers, contactless thermometers, and hand free faucets have increased by up to 2000%.
As anxieties over the spread of COVID-19 through contact or shared surfaces continue to plague the general population, these technologies offer a potential solution for offices or organizations struggling to stay operational without increasing the risk of viral spread.In the U.S. especially, this increased demand for touchless products has the potential to prompt a revolution in how we interact with common technologies in our day-to-day life. While manual revolving doors are widespread in cities like New York, other cities around the world – particularly in Asia – rely primarily on automatic doors.
Similarly, public restrooms in these cities often come equipped with self-flushing toilets and automated faucets and soap-dispensers.
Even American retail transactions often entail an unnecessary amount of contact, whereas other countries such as Australia or the U.K. use primarily contactless transaction methods including tap-to-pay credit cards or mobile payment. As COVID-19 prompts Americans to purchase touchless technology in unprecedented numbers, is it possible to imagine that these technologies will soon become integrated into our daily lives?
Below, we list some examples of pioneering contactless technology that are applicable not just to public spaces, offices, and businesses, but to residential homes as well. The sector of touchless products is a small, but rapidly emerging part of a larger shift toward increasing automation in contemporary architecture at any scale
Sensor taps and no door handles: Covid-19 shows it’s time to rethink public toilets
Better building codes and some design innovation could greatly improve hygiene, experts say
Public health experts, designers and architects say the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed fundamental flaws in the design of public toilets that risk spreading a second wave of coronavirus, and possibly even new pandemics.
The pandemic has sparked calls for the introduction of building codes and design innovation for all future structures to comply with infection control measures, with greater input from disease specialists in construction projects that often see the design stage as a chance for cost cutting.
Some of the suggested innovations include a greater uptake of sensor taps, fully self-cleaning cubicles, designing exits that don’t require human contact, and having bathroom attendants.
Proponents of these ideas say they would improve hygiene by minimising the amount of exposure to potentially infected surfaces and also boost public confidence in the cleanliness of public conveniences, with some arguing the net effect would even be good for the post-pandemic economic recovery.
The World Health Organization has acknowledged the shortcomings of conventional public toilet design, distributing advice on safe hand washing that instructs users that in order to be protected from the virus, people should use a paper towel to turn off the tap after washing their hands.