The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everyone’s aspect of daily life and behavior, prompting people to avoid physical contact, maintain social distance, and spend more time at home. As such, both manufacturers and business owners must alter their business operations and make adjustments accordingly to keep pace with the changing consumer behaviors.
To this end, innovation has become a vital tool in maximizing value for everyone involved. Innovations, both existing, and the newly developed to address new needs or unforeseen situations, as well as the improvement of their performance to bolster long-term efficiency will all play a role in catalyzing new trends and further strengthening existing ones.
Acceleration: Keyword in the COVID-19 Era
Innovations bring about changes at different levels, from the micro-level such as the way of life to the macro level in industries. “Acceleration” has become a keyword during this pandemic, with the most pressing issue being the minimization of contacts in the quickest way possible.
In response to COVID-19, SCG promptly developed aerosol boxes made from Shinkolite acrylic sheets and the DIY Aerosol Guard and gave them to medical professionals as makeshift solutions for the pandemic at hand, leading to the development of medical equipment that provided more convenience and safety for medical professionals to carry out their tasks. These included the Flexi Dent Guard for dental procedures; different models of compact isolation capsules for different types of patient transfer, such as for CT scanning or for air transportation; negative pressure isolation rooms; and negative/positive pressure isolation chambers. As a result, SCG now has a full range of innovations for COVID-19 prevention, which have been given to hospitals nationwide.
Because the risk of infection can be reduced by minimizing touches and contact, innovations have been developed to reduce the touching of surfaces and exposure to invisible particles in the air.
Previously used in public facilities and seen as innovations, contactless devices such as elevator access control cards employed in offices, automatic toilets in department stores, and household electrical appliances controllable via smartphones have grown in popularity thanks to their utility in reducing touching and, thus, the spread of COVID-19. As a result, the use of automatic devices has become integral to many people’s daily lives.
Temperature checkpoints at entrances, which have become standard, or “New Normal” during the pandemic, have also inspired the development of innovations such as the AI-enabled thermal scanners that can measure temperatures, detect face masks, and display results on a monitor as well as automatic palm temperature scanners, which creates a more efficient screening process and effectively help people maintain physical distances.
Regulations for social distancing and contact minimization have prompted a fuller deployment of digital technology, especially in the automation of industrial manufacturing, resulting in greater operational efficiency, analysis accuracy, and connectivity between personnel in different departments.
These developments are also aligned with the concept of Industry 4.0, in which the capabilities of industries and entrepreneurs are advanced through innovation as well as automation that not only enhances manufacturing efficiency under different circumstances but also reduces contact between personnel in the production process.
While this crisis is far from over, the knowledge and experience accumulated over the past year have given us valuable lessons that will drive the development of new innovations and technologies to keep people safe and foster a society where everyone learns to co-existing harmoniously.