Diefenbunker to pilot social distancing tech

Special to WC Online

CARP – The Diefenbunker Cold War Museum is one of five pilot projects the city is testing technology solutions to Ottawa’s COVID-19 economic recovery.

In May, the city challenged the business community to submit proposals to the Innovation Pilot Program – Recovery Stream for strategies to accelerate Ottawa’s ability to get the workforce back to work and to safely resume business operations as the economy gradually reopens.

“This program supports an innovative technology ecosystem in Ottawa and offers the opportunity to test and quickly deploy technologies in real-life situations within city services or one of our economic development partners,” city staff released in a statement today (July 15). “Companies can therefore gain valuable feedback on their innovations prior to scaling and production.”

The evaluation committee, which included city staff and economic development partners, received and considered 47 applications. The chosen projects support a broad range of sectors, including government, health, non-profit, retail, agriculture and culture. The City of Ottawa and some local businesses will pilot the technologies from mid-July until February 2021.

Pilot projects

The Social Distancer™ – managing physical distancing in the workplace

Social Distancer Technologies, from Châteauguay, Québec, will partner with the city and other organizations to pilot technology that will help reopen the cultural sector and public markets. Social Distancer Technologies, in collaboration with Visible Assets Inc., has developed a wireless, wearable device that provides visual, audible and haptic warnings when two devices are less than two metres apart. The device will make physical distancing guidelines easy to practice, and it will be piloted at locations including Ottawa Markets, the Billings Estate National Historic Site, Cumberland Heritage Village Museum and the Diefenbunker Museum.

Workforce Analytics for the City of Ottawa

Ottawa-based start-up Agile Work Evolutions Inc. will work with the city’s Innovative Client Services Department to pilot their Workforce Analytics software cloud solution, which engages employees to better understand how they work, how they prefer to work, and how their employer enables them to work. Workforce Analytics will benefit the City’s COVID-19 recovery efforts by supporting workforce reintegration during and after COVID-19, allowing management to review scenarios for re-entry to the workplace.

Streamlining community volunteer management processes through integrated software tools

Local software company InitLive will work with the Manor Park Community Council to pilot software that will help them cope with increased demand for non-profit services that depend on volunteers. InitLive’s tools will help the council streamline management of volunteers to better meet the needs of vulnerable members of the community, notably through deliveries on behalf of local food banks including Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre, Partage Vanier Food Bank and Kanata Food Cupboard.

Safe return to business in a COVID-19 environment: client intake and queue management solution

Gatineau-based Macadamian will work with Chiromax of Manotick to pilot technology to help ensure patient safety when accessing healthcare services. Macadamian’s InQ virtual waiting room will enable Chiromax to ensure their patients practice physical distancing. Using a smartphone and health clinic tablet applications, InQ will match available services with patients and manage walk-ins and InQ users equitably. Chiromax patients will be registered in the virtual waiting room on arrival, and they can then wait in their vehicles or outdoors until notified by the mobile app.

QReserve space and density management solutions

Hamilton-based QReserve will work with Ottawa Markets to pilot a density management solution that uses low-power sensors to track occupancy and usage patterns in the ByWard Market Building. The sensors will anonymously detect motion and heat-based signatures to provide in-depth insights on high-traffic locations within the building. The goal of the pilot is to finalize a scalable solution that facilitates physical distancing measures.

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