Skip to main content

What Comes Next: How tech helps transit and travel open safely

In our “What Comes Next” series, Riley Winn takes a look beyond the current state of COVID-19, and at the next steps for industries as we move into the next phase of reopening. On this episode, he takes a look at the changes and safety measures taking place around public transportation and flying, and how those industries are aiming to tackle the spread of the coronavirus.

As more and more places are starting to open up again, going from point A to point B won’t look the same. In airports, we’re already used to screening and security, but now it’s about to get a bit more intense. Some TSA agents may be equipped with thermal helmets that can scan the crowds looking for people with higher temperatures. Anyone that does have a high temperature will be pulled aside and measured with a different thermometer, and potentially asked to leave the airport.

Because of these expanded checks, lines will probably take longer to get through. They will definitely look longer to get through, as social distancing will be implemented in the queues themselves, so you’ll want to be sure to arrive at the airport even earlier than normal.

Things will be different inside the planes as well. There will be empty seats to promote distancing during the flight, and masks will be required on board. Planes will be cleaned using state-of-the-art UV-C lights that can disinfect up to 30 rows a minute, which means an entire 737 can be cleaned in about five minutes.

Watch other episodes to see how tech is helping keep us safe at: 

Hotels will also undergo changes. Keys may go from plastic cards to being sent to your phone so you can just open up an app and head straight to your room. TV remotes will be replaced by QR codes that allow you to control the TV from your smartphone, and food and drink options will be contactless. Technology is also being applied at the pool, where guests can reserve their spots poolside so the number of people can be limited.

As for our everyday commutes, public transportation will be working overtime to ensure the health and safety of riders, and will be cleaned around the clock. UV-C lights, much like those that will be used to disinfect airplanes, will be implemented to automate cleaning. And, of course, masks will most likely be mandatory for all public transportation.

Technology will go a long way in helping us contain and control the coronavirus, but public involvement will be a key part of implementing these new safety standards.

Editors' Recommendations

Todd Werkhoven
Todd Werkhoven's work can be read at numerous publications and he co-authored a personal finance book called "Zombie…
Huawei finds its niche with the sporty Watch GT Runner
Huawei Watch GT Runner on wrist.

By focusing on a specific niche, Huawei may have found an audience for its latest smartwatch, the Watch GT Runner. It’s a spinoff of Huawei’s classier Watch GT 3 smartwatch, but as the new watch’s name suggests, it's targeted squarely at runners.

It’s a technically impressive bit of hardware, and the software is very good, so when you consider it as an alternative to other running watches, the Huawei idiosyncrasies that frustrate on the Watch GT 3 become less of a problem here. I've been trying it out and here are my thoughts.
A light touch
The Huawei Watch GT Runner is light -- just 51 grams with the very flexible silicone strap -- and that makes it comfortable to wear all day. The 46mm case is quite big, but at 11mm thick, it never feels that ungainly. For comparison, the new 47mm Garmin Fenix 7 weighs 79 grams and is nearly 15mm thick. The lightness comes from the polymer fiber case, which is given some visual appeal with a ceramic bezel and titanium crown. It’s also worth noting the huge amount of adjustment on the strap that allows it to be worn both under and over clothing.

Read more
Do you need a smart toothbrush?
Oral-B iO Series 9 Smart Toothbrush in hand

When will we come to a time when every accessory in our home is smart? Is there a limit to what should actually be smart? Let's talk about a category that may not be what you traditionally think of as a smart device -- the toothbrush.

I'm all for having smarter health products and having the best technology in our hygiene products (like bidets), but I've not put a lot of thought into how, or why, my toothbrush is smart. It's time to dive in and see if it's even worth it.

Read more
How Hawk-Eye cameras are making football fairer and faster than ever
Hawk-Eye goal line camera

Football can be a tough sport -- and nowhere more than at its most elite level where highly trained players compete for gridiron glory. There is a lot at stake, and a lot that can go wrong, too. From calls that are tough to make in real-time to the ever-present risk of season-ending injuries, you need a whole lot of eyes on the game to ensure that it runs smoothly.

Hawk-Eye is a company that's there to lend an automated assist. Used in an ever-growing number of sports, including the NFL, Hawk-Eye's tech consists of synchronized multi-angle cameras that can help track large numbers of data points on the sports field.

Read more