A new and innovative product has been designed and developed by two Yorkshire based firms to relieve the burden that social distancing restrictions are placing on hospitality, events and retail sectors, offering a return on investment within two weeks of installation.
AirBar‐Q is the result of a collaboration between industry‐leading bed manufacturer Harrison Spinks, which is based in Leeds, and Ripon‐based driver safety solution company NuVech.
Backed by Innovate UK in support of COVID-19 solutions, it is currently being trialled in a McDonald’s London site, Blue Diamond Garden Centre in Derby and a number of Nisa Local stores across the country.
The highly accurate occupancy monitoring system is provided by partners Irisys (part of Fluke Corporation) and Newcastle-based Ocucon. The system counts customers in and out of stores allowing the store manager to monitor the number of people within the building, offering maximum social distancing safety measures during the COVID‐19 pandemic.
The AirBar‐Q’s soft barrier is a flexible material, ensuring there is no risk of harm to customers whilst creating a physical barrier within the doorway. A simple traffic light system is used to communicate whether customers are able to enter or exit a zoned area.
Miles Featherstone, commercial director at AirBar‐Q, said: “AirBar‐Q combines the best innovation expertise within both Harrison Spinks and NuVech to tackle the retail and hospitality challenges faced during the COVID‐19 pandemic. With incredible speed we have managed to create a system that allows many industries to operate safely and more efficiently.
He added: “AirBar‐Q can increase efficiency through accurate monitoring of customer numbers, increasing revenue as staff can return to their revenue generating roles, and avoiding unnecessary close contact with customers.”
The portable systems being tested are both the remote-controlled units and the automated version paired with people counting sensors located above the entrance and exits.
The system has launched as a result of the success of the AirBar, the first vehicle‐mounted, retractable safety device to stop cyclists and bikers riding on the nearside of HGVs turning left at junctions.