RFID Technologies RFID Technologies CC

RFID based COVID19 Room capacity control system for controlling social distancing

Crowd control
The Problem

The COVID19 virus spread around the world starting in November 2019. Each country has taken actions to stop this killer virus spreading through their population. It spreads like wild fire through droplet propagation from an infected person to the un-infected. Without a pharmaceutical solution, the most effective counter measure has been to separate citizens via social distancing, keeping people a couple of meters apart so that the heavy droplets in their expelled breath can fall to the ground before encountering another person.

Guidelines for shops and workplaces issued by governments require that facilities limit the number of occupants in a room in order to maintain social distancing.For example "this room has a capacity for 50 people at one time"

This system provides an aid to users of the facility so that they can self regulate occupancy of the area without the need for security personnel.

The solution

This system is placed at the doorway to the room. It counts people entering and leaving the room automatically, and shows a bright light at the doorway when the room is at capacity. This stops further people entering until others have left the room to keep the occupancy below the designated capacity.

Typical applications

  • Canteens in large companies where many staff share the same facilities.
  • Changerooms and locker rooms in large companies.
  • Tea rooms in medium companies.
  • Shops in shopping centres where shops are required to limit the number of customers in the shop due to its size.
  • Elevators in deep mining operations.
  • Shuttle busses in large industrial compaies for moving staff back to the entrances.
  • Lecture halls in Universities
  • Conference sessions at international conferences
  • Payment halls in Municipalities
  • Pubs at Sports Clubs.
  • The Technology

    The system is an RFID system using UHF RFID technology. A reader is setup at the doorway to the area being monitored. It is a standalone system just needing mains power. Staff are carrying a transponder on their person (or part of their ID card), which identity is read by the reader. The reader reads the identity on each transponder passing in and out through the doorway. By keeping a list of those who have entered, it can count the room occupancy. When people leave the room they are removed from the occupancy list.

    A light on the top of the reader indicates to newcomers whether there is still space in the room or they must queue outside.

    The transponders carried by the people are credit card sized and can be read by the reader up to 10 meters away.

    The operator can adjust the number of people allowed via a cellphone interface, allowing changes to be implemented as regulations and requirements change.

    Reader with patch antenna and cables
    Discussion

    This device is to assist in unwinding the lockdown imposed by many governments by giving citizens more freedom depending on circumstances. Some authorities are suggesting that social distancing will be with us for the next two years.

    This system makes life easier for the employees and the shoppers to use facilities and shops in such a way that they do not break regulations which might result in the loss of that facility or shop due to non-compliance with current regulations. Here the employee or shopper can see, before entering, whether the facility/shop is already at full capacity.

    For example, in a shopping centre, a shopper can be given an ID card when entering the mall, and can then go to a variety of different shops in the mall that have different capacities, regulating their entrance to each shop depending on whether it still has capacity at that time.

    About RFID Technologies CC
    RFID Technologies CC is a South African specialist company based in Johannesburg, founded in 1994, that designs and manufactures UHF RFID systems which it supplies to users in 55 countries.

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