The world in 2021: what will be different

Times are changing. Our daily lives are different in 2020, but will also be different in 2021. What changes to society can we expect in not only the short-, but also in the long run?

Lasting changes

Although certain measures are slowly being released by the government, society is different today than it was before. A lot of people are still working from home and public places are arranged such that enough distance between people can be kept.

While the pandemic already has a big impact on our daily lives at this moment, it will also affect what our world will look like in the upcoming years. The current situation will lead to drastic changes to society, also in the long-term.

Distance and hygiene

In particular, two things will get more attention than ever before: social distance and proper hygiene.

The term ‘social distancing’ is probably one of the most heard phrases lately. Everyone is busy structuring society in such a way that enough distance can be kept for weeks, months or maybe even years to come: at work, in public transport and in restaurants, for example. The sole aim of this is to reduce the risk of spread or contamination.

Another way to reach the same goal is to improve hygiene. Many facilities require people to wash their hands before entering the venue, and these kinds of measures might become the norm in society. However, while physical changes in the environment are made to stimulate social distance, physical changes to the environment may also have to be made to improve hygiene.

Hygiene by design

Many public environments contain elements that are touched frequently. Amongst those are things like pin devices, door handles, and card scanners. To improve hygiene, it is important to make sure that such elements are touched less frequently – or not at all.

For example, to enter a building, people generally have to use a card or key and a way to open a door, such as a door knob or handle. To reduce the frequency with which such objects are touched, it would be a good idea to open doors automatically. However, when not just anyone should be able to walk in and out of the building, simply using an open door would not be a great solution.

So, how would we go about granting people access, without letting them use frequently-touched objects such as card or key scanners and door handles or doorknobs?

Contactless access

Today, face recognition technology has reached a level at which usage of it in daily activities has become possible. With the use of a face recognition solution access can be granted to people, without them having to use a physical card or key. Additionally, doors can be opened automatically when access is granted to people, which prevents them from having to open the door themselves (and having to touch the door, door handle or doorknob). At the same time, anyone that tries to access without permission, even when the door is open, could be detected. Together, these elements make for a foolproof solution in which entrance is completely contactless and sanitary.

Privacy by design

In order to improve hygiene by using face recognition on a large scale, there is one last hurdle we would have to take: privacy concerns. Face recognition technology makes use of the biometric data of people, which users of the technology should be able to control themselves.

While most providers of face recognition avoid the privacy discussion, at 20face we have created a face recognition solution that is completely privacy proof: the user is in control of his data. In this way, our contactless access solution is not only hygiene by design, but also privacy by design.

Ready for the future

Taking account of current developments concerning distance and hygiene, contactless access could be a way to improve general hygiene in society in the long term, by using a physical change to the environment. Making this solution privacy proof by putting the user in control, would result in a solution that is truly ready for the future!

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