Post COVID-19 era: These European tech startups will help you maintain social distancing effectively

As the whole world is prepping to face the pandemic and adapt to the new normal post COVID-19, there are some restrictions and social distancing norms that we need to face. As businesses across Europe are bouncing back to normalcy, shops and malls are opening, restaurants are serving customers, and travel restrictions are being lifted.

Eventually, it becomes highly important to follow social distancing guidelines. While this is tough to follow, there are some big tech players that have come up with solutions to avoid crowding. There are software solutions, wearables and other tech facilitating the same and help you maintain social distance from others.

Google already jumped in to help users maintain social distancing with Sodar, its augmented reality tool. It uses WebXR to visualise a ring of two-metre radius around you to help maintain social distancing. Your smartphone’s camera uses AR to map the area around you to help avoid queuing. In addition to Google Sodar, there are some European tech startups that are bringing solutions that encourage social distancing at various places and we at Silicon Canals have detailed the same here.

Picture credits: Dist-i

Dist-i (Italy)

Founder/s: Paolo Ingrassia
Founded year: 2020
Funding: NA

Dist-i is a smart wearable device, which is easy to use. It allows you to maintain the social distancing between people who wear it at all times, thanks to Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity. The wearable device works with smartphones or Wi-Fi connection and doesn’t require any software installation. The Dist-i band is meant for companies and public places and such as gyms, restaurants, cinemas, hotels, etc. and helps prevent the infection.

It is very simple to use, just wear it and it will warn you every time you are approaching other people in possession of the same device. It is possible to program an alarm distance between 1.5 and 5 metres. With a simple click, it is possible to enable the silent mode function that silences the alarms between a specific group of devices.

Picture credits: Aura Aware

Aura Aware (Netherlands)

Founder/s: Janneke van den Heuvel
Founded year: 2020
Funding: NA

Amsterdam-based Aura Aware has come up with a smart device, which helps businesses maintain safe social distancing for both themselves and customers. It is a social distance sensor, which warns if customers fail to follow social distancing norms of 2 metres.

This smart device from Aura Aware is an LED panel with a laser depth sensor fitted at its base. It alerts people with audiovisual cues and encourages them to maintain six feet distance. If people go too close, their smart device will turn from green to red. With LIDAR technology that is used in self-driving cars, this smart device lets users customise it via a mobile app. Already, Aura Aware smart device is deployed at IKEA.

Picture credits: Kinexon

Kinexon (Germany)

Founder/s: Alexander Hüttenbrink, Oliver Trinchera, Maximilian Schmidt
Founded year: 2012
Funding: NA

Munich-based Kinexon provides state-of-the-art sensor networks and edge computing solutions to logistics, manufacturing, sports, and media organisations. The company developed SafeZone, one of the most efficient and industry-proven digital solutions to adapt to the social distancing norms and stay protected against COVID-19. Kinexon SafeZone provides customers an open real-time analytics platform, which uses advanced algorithms and provide detailed and live results.

One of the first clients of Kinexon’s technology is Personio, an HR software provider for SMBs. It is currently testing how its employee base of over 400 can go back to office safely. Already, Personio started a trial of two weeks with up to 140 colleagues who volunteered to work at the Munich office.

Picure credits: Pathfindr

Pathfindr (UK)

Founder/s: Ben Sturgess
Founded year: 2015
Funding: NA

Norwich-based Pathfindr is an IoT startup that works on indoor and outdoor wayfinding technology. Last month, as the COVID-19 lockdown was being lifted in Europe, this startup started focusing on creating wearable personal safety devices that are aimed to helping workplaces adhere to social distancing standards.

Pathfindr has come developed a low-power, ultra-wideband device, which scans for nearby colleagues using 3.5GHz radiofrequency. It is touted to be more accurate than Bluetooth. The device from Pathfindr comes is priced at £49.99 per unit and has been implemented into workplaces such as construction sites, warehouses, logistics hubs, and factories.

Picture credits: The Line Lite

The Line Lite (Ireland)

Founder/s: Anthony Remedy, John O’Neill
Founded year: NA
Funding: NA

The Line Lite is a Dublin-based startup that has launched a digital booking system to let customer pre-book shopping visits so that they can avoid waiting in long queues. It also helps retailers monitor the number of people in their premises. This digital solution from The Line Lite is targeted at shopfronts and the high street. It intends to help retailers regain customer trust and better shopping experience during the post COVID-19 era.

The tech behind The Line Lite is aimed at the retail industry. It has been implemented by Siopaella as the business prepares to reopen sometime later this summer. Furthermore, the team is in talks with a slew of Irish retailers, stores and bars to help them and their customers post the pandemic lockdown.

Picture credits: Ordee

Ordee (Ireland)

Founder/s: Anthony Cronin, Criostóir O’Codlatáin Lachtna
Founded year: 2020
Funding: NA

Irish startup Ordee has developed a social distancing app targeted at the leisure and hospitality businesses. This app aims to help businesses reopen and adapt to the new normal and the government guidelines. Ordee app features a queuing functionality, which aims to prevent customers from standing in long lines or gives them notifications in the virtual queue. The app lets users see the real-time capacity in a venue and pay for the food and drinks purchased as well. Business use the Ordee app to manage bookings and set space for walk-ins. It also lets them see who clocked in and out if they aren’t using the app.

Picture credits: Veovo

Veovo (UK)

Founder/s: NA
Founded year: NA
Funding: NA

London-based Veovo is an AI-powered platform connecting people, systems and sensors across the ecosystem to provide instant situational awareness. It deploys smart smart automation and intelligent recommendations for the same. The startup has launched airport social distancing solutions for safer travel. It has launched Virtual Queueing and Passenger Density Management solutions that are meant to help social distancing in airports as the lockdown is easing in many regions and flying restrictions are getting lifted.

Veovo’s Virtual Queueing lets travellers prebook a time slot for processing at airport checkpoints instead of waiting in line. And, the company’s Passenger Density Management solutions monitors crowd density in spaces and queues across terminals letting airports take action against those surpassing social distancing norms.

Stock photo from eamesBot/Shutterstock

Stay tuned to Silicon Canals for more European technology news.

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Startups – Silicon Canals

How do you more effectively start from a problem?

When I find good problems to solve I always tell myself to start small and test the idea. However, I seem to be very good at being ineffective starting a project. I get caught up in trivial details or focus on the easy things and obsess about them. This project destructive behavior keeps me from delivering any kind of core value that I can use to test my idea and build on it. I also seem to overwhelm myself with features and plans that cause me to become frustrated and quit when I find the easy path out.

How do you re-train your brain to be more effective at starting from nothing and are there any books out there that dive deep into the problem of starting?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Tips To Effectively Use Internet Marketing For Your Business

The Internet is used for many things in today’s society, such as playing games, reading books, and even making phone calls. But, it can also be used for advertising. Internet marketing is useful as it allows people to advertise products and services without using a lot of time and money. In order to get started read the tips in this article.

Every time you send an email, make sure that the signature at the bottom has your name, the name of your business and your web address. This is a helpful tool for anyone who would like further information or a quick question they think your site will address for them.

Hire professionals to work on your website. This may seem like an unnecessary expense, but think about your own surfing habits: don’t you prefer professionally done sites? A professional site helps you appear professional and instantly gains trust from prospective customers and clients. Not only that, but professionals ensure that your site is functional, something that might take you a lot of time to do.

Try to stay current with your webpage and the market for the items you have on it. You want to make sure you are periodically updating your webpage with new content and deals that people can see. You can’t expect to just make a new webpage and never update it, make sure you know you are going to have the time in the future to keep up with your webpage and it’s content.

Create a relationship with an online media outlet that specializes in topics that are relevant to your company. If they post a link to your site on their page, you have access to a large pool of interested users. An online media outlet is also a great place to send press releases about your business. Is there something new and exciting that you are unveiling? This lets a community of people who are already interested in your field know about what you are doing.

When you are building your new internet marketing scheme, consider existing companies. Seek out well known and well trusted companies and provide them a service or establish a relationship with them that will get your link posted on their partner page. You will gain a lot of extra exposure this way.

If you’re using email marketing, make sure your emails can be read without the images enabled. Most users have images disabled for privacy and security reasons and if they cannot read your email without the images, they may just delete them and unsubscribe. But allowing them to read it without the images will make things easier for them.

Besides a regular site map, intelligent webmasters build a properly-formatted sitemap.xml page. This is a carefully-organized reference page that search engines use when indexing a website. A sitemap.xml file that includes all website content and has its format validated can provide a massive boost to a web site’s search engine ranking performance.

The Internet is incredibly vast, and many marketers feel as if they have to cover the entire net with their brand name. This is not the case. In fact, it’s actually the opposite. The Internet is a special market entirely, so the more streamlined and direct your approach is, the more success you’re going to have.

To be successful in internet marketing, it is very important to show enthusiasm to the customer. Phrases such as “I am very excited for our new product” gives them a sense of anticipation and they tend to concentrate and focus more on the things that you are saying in the advertisement.

Make sure that all of the comments on your website are factually accurate. Including false text on your site can damage your credibility, which will reduce the amount of profits that you make over time. Double check your facts, as you should always include truthful material to present to your customers.

If you’re using video for internet marketing, make a short video. This will make it possible for potential customers to look for more information on your website. Videos that ‘go on and on’ for longer than a few minutes can provide the opposite effect and make people not want to hear from you ever again.

Make sure you are using a user-friendly, 404 error page. If a link is not working, seeing “page not found,” makes customers feel like the link will always lead to nothing and most likely, will not click on it again. If they think it will be fixed, chances are they will come back later.

Try offering free phone consultations prior to purchases for your customers and potential customers. When they feel at ease with how you handle their concerns, they will be more likely to trust you. More trust leads to more business, so do your best to make a great impression, as to what you can offer them.

Give a percentage of your profits to a well-known charity, and advertise that you are doing so. Customers love to be able to donate to charities, and if they can do so through your website, it will make them much more likely to buy. Your donations will increase both your likability and credibility among your customers. You will also feel good about giving to charity.

Your business website must be both efficient and easily navigable. There is nothing more frustrating than clicking on a business site and finding it hard to find what you are looking for. Many sites have confusing ways of ordering or contacting departments within the business. It is imperative that you make sure that any information the customer needs is at their fingertips.

Consider submitting articles to other web sites and online magazines as part of your internet marketing strategy. Make sure you include all your business information with the content you submit, as this is an excellent way to get your name out there. People who read your article will be curious and visit your site.

As stated before, the Internet is used for advertising products and services. Now that you are equipped with these tips from this article, you can put Internet marketing to work for you.

Proven Tips To Help You Use Email Marketing Effectively

Don’t send emails to people who don’t want to receive them. One of the fastest ways to destroy the trust of your customers is to spam them with unwanted email. This article will help you reach out and get your email messages to the people who want to read them.

You don’t want to send marketing emails to people who haven’t asked for them. Messages sent to recipients who did not request them are at risk of being marked as spam. This practice is terrible for the reputation of your business, and you may even get your IP address blocked by ISPs if they receive complaints about your unsolicited messages.

Minimize traditional email marketing activities during the holidays. Customers are preoccupied with family and friends, and are less likely to be paying attention to business email. Your odds of ending up in the spam box are considerably higher, which could have longer term implications for your bottom line. The major exception to this would be a business directly related to the holiday activities. Otherwise, give yourself a break and enjoy some downtime yourself. Business will be back on track in a day or two.

Make sure that your email subscribers know exactly what to expect from you. An excellent way to do this is to make your first email to every new subscriber a default informational message. You should lay out what sort of content you intend to send them, and also indicate the frequency of messages they can expect from you.

Use tools to measure the success of your email marketing campaign. You should learn all you can about how many times your emails are read, if your subject lines are being read, which articles you write are being read, etc. Using information like this can help with the future success of your campaign since you will know what works and what does not.

Use words that are appropriate to the industry you are focusing on in your marketing materials. For example, if you are writing marketing materials for new technological items, use words such as “new,” “advanced” or “state-of-the-art” that are commonly used in that industry. Using the right words will help increase your products’ appeal to your customers.

Remember that more and more people are now using a smartphone or another type of mobile device to view emails. The lower resolution of those devices means that there’s less space on the screen to display your messages. Test your emails out so that you know they’re legible on mobile screens.

It is significantly more effective to build your own e-mail list for e-mail marketing than to purchase a list, or acquire the services of a marketing company that has their own lists. The reason for this is that everyone who submits their e-mail address to be a part of your list is interested in the services or products that you have to offer. These people are far more likely to be receptive to your e-mail.

Diamonds may be forever, but permission is not. Even after you have subscriber permission, renew it somehow after around nine months, since that is the typical expiration date of permissions given. Not only will prospects feel respected by your polite behavior, you will rapidly identify who is really interested in your material.

In your email marketing campaign, try to give each message a personal tone. Your customers will then have a personal image of your site rather than one that is negative or impersonal. Sign the message with the name of your company’s president or CEO to impress your customers.

When you’ve determined your email’s frequency, make it into a schedule. Set the times and dates of when you have to send your recipients your emails. It doesn’t matter if you send an email daily or monthly, sticking to a schedule can keep you organized and can allow your recipients to know when they can receive your emails.

When you are following up with your site’s clients, a great tip is to include a free report on your follow-up email. Include a link on your email that invites your clients to click on it to begin. The ending P.S. could urge them to try out these samples that are provided.

When creating text for your email marketing campaign, make sure you use fonts that reflect the tone of what your email is trying to convey to the customer. This is important in providing the right emphasis, and it conveys the message clearly to the customer. This will work wonders in keeping the reader intrigued.

Use email marketing with a select group of valued customers. This way, you can create an elite list of customers who can feel valued that they are receiving special offers and promotions from you. It may even motivate people who are not part of your email club to make more purchases in order to receive these special promotions.

If your company has developed a branding practice prior to the start of your email marketing program, then keep your future emails consistent with that established branding. Use an identical color theme and layout for every email, and make sure to include your business’s logo in all of your messages. If you have built up a strong reputation, then your emails will be seen in a good light.

Successful email marketing campaign lists are built organically. Forgo renting or buying pre-made lists, and instead start one from scratch. Get business cards at industry events and have opt-in links on all your web pages. Offer incentives to your subscribers to forward your material to associates they know would be interested. Your niche already has an existing network of social ties within its community, follow those paths.

Now that you’ve reached the end of this article, you can see how important it is to have a list of interested consumers who want to receive your emails. Harassing people with unwanted emails will not only get complaints raised against you, but you will see a plummet in your sales. Utilize the advice given here to avoid sending unwanted emails to people.

5 Tips for Effectively Working from Home

While we are in the midst of the global COVID-19 crisis, working from home has become the new normal for so many of us. For some, this can be a brand-new reality, and it can be difficult to focus on work in an environment that is usually associated with leisure.

Starting your workday in your pajamas may sound ideal, but this will deter you from setting a productive mindset. Even though you’re working from home, treat the day as you would going into the office. If possible, it’s wise to set aside an area in your house, such as a desk or makeshift office, to avoid any at home distractions.

When working from home, it’s vital to make the distinction between your home and work so you can maintain the level of efficiency and productivity that you have in the office.

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To help you to work from home effectively in this global crisis, follow these tips

Keep to your typical working hours

Routine is key to ensure productivity when working from home. While it’s tempting to not set your alarm and sleep in, this will only introduce inconsistency into your routine.

By keeping to consistent hours and sticking to a routine, you are more likely to stay focused on getting work done. At the same time, allow yourself to be flexible and work at various times of the day when you’re most productive.

Break the day up

Breaks are important to keep your brain active, whether you’re working from home or in an office. If you force yourself to continue working when you could use a break, your quality of work will suffer.

Make sure to get up and walk away from your work several times throughout the day: eat a snack, call a colleague, and if you can, get some fresh air. These simple actions will help to get your blood flowing and gain new perspective on the work in front of you.

Related: 8 Tips for the Work From Home Solopreneur

Set up a workspace 

It can be easy to work from your sofa or even your bed for comfort, but this can negatively impact your productivity. Try to work consistently from the same room, even if you don’t have a designated home office. Implement a makeshift workspace, such as a desk with a chair, that you can fold away at the end of the day. This will help your brain differentiate between work time and leisure time, helping you to feel more alert and organized.

Practice social distancing, not isolation

Working from home means social distancing, but it doesn’t have to mean isolation. Keep in touch with your colleagues through phone calls, video meetings and daily check ins. Real-time communication tools like Slack and Zoom will help you stay connected.

And if you live with a partner or children, chances are your significant other will be working from home during this time, too. Be sure to establish boundaries during the workday so you’re able to focus on your work, but make time to check in with each other daily.

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Keep organized

If your office has a cleaning staff, chances are you don’t tidy up much after you leave for the day. Keeping your home office space clean is not only imperative for your health, it will help you to stay focused and productive. A messy desk causes imbalance and creates a chaotic atmosphere.

If you’re struggling to establish a work from home routine, hopefully the above tips will prove helpful. The bottom line is, try to establish a routine while working from home in order to remain efficient; but at the same time, cut yourself (and others) some slack.

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