As Founder and Director of the Bloomfield Group, Thor Bloomfield’s vision to create a safer, more sustainable environment is collectively approached with his purpose-driven business portfolio. As a post-pandemic norm begins to emerge, Bloomfield explains how artificial intelligence (AI) and temperature check technology will play a leading role in the way we do business in the future.
While it’s not the first global pandemic, COVID-19 has reshaped our considered ‘normal’ way of life. From the way we live and interact with one another, to how we work and operate in business, the myriad of personal and global changes will affect the population for generations to come, with important decisions now being made to effectively enable us to move forward.
With the advancement of AI becoming a key driver in how the world operates futuristically, I spoke to a number of business owners and experts on how the technology is reshaping practices, and their thoughts on the future of AI in operations across sectors including retail, corporate and hospitality.
Businesses must update HR policies and procedures
Colin Wilson, a human resources (HR) expert and the Director and Founder of Key Business Advisors, noted that as employees are called back to the office and businesses re-open, the expectations from consumers and employees-alike will reshape the foundations of workplace safety and business practices, internationally.
He stated that, as an employer, we need to consider the ways in which we are able to update our processes following the pandemic to carry out extensive due diligence to our staff, and create reassurance across both staff and customers alike. This means updating OH&S processes, as well as HR processes. AI is proving to be a great contributor.
AI in retail and business
Sadik Ardolli, Group Sales Manager at retail outlet, Chef’s Hat, said the company’s decision to adopt AI was more than a socially responsible duty of care to employees and consumers – it was a financially responsible one, too.
“We have found that, for the majority, consumers feel more confident in knowing we are managing our environment to the best of our ability,” he said.
“Financially, employing someone to manually take each person’s temperature isn’t sustainable, and becomes time consuming and awkward with multiple customers, so the purchase of a compact temperature detection unit has been a smart investment.”
AI in the tourism and hospitality sector
Similarly, Victoria’s luxurious Jackalope Hotel initially adopted Bloomfield technology units to monitor staff health. Tracy Atherton, Group General Manager, said the brand now intends on rolling out AI on reopening.
“This year has really forced businesses to engage in conversations around how we can better our brand and instate an element of security and trust among our guests and staff,” said Atherton.
“We want to ensure stakeholders know that we are doing everything we can to keep them safe. We believe temperature detection is not just a COVID-safe implementation, but also an essential consideration when planning for our future. The hospitality industry, specifically, sees thousands of travellers visit us each year from around the globe, and COVID-19 has been a strong reminder of just how vulnerable we all are. Our temperature check units have enabled us to monitor staff health with ease and confidence, and so it was an obvious decision to implement the technology in our foyer when reopening to the public.”
Innovating Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Bloomfield Technology (a part of Bloomfield Capital – an equity group driven to build a better tomorrow through environmentally ethical and technologically advanced ecosystems), was established to offer support for businesses navigating their way out of the lockdown, effectively preparing them for the future.
I spent the foremost of my life battling Cystic Fibrosis, undergoing countless surgeries to prolong my lifespan before being fortunate enough to receive a double lung transplant. Whilst I operated a number of successful businesses in my earlier years, it wasn’t until then that I felt the sudden urge to give life a better go – I knew what it was like to live in fear, and I didn’t want that to be the world my daughter grew up in.
Bloomfield Technology’s first innovation was a body check technology scanner, designed to detect a person’s body temperature using a thermal camera. Users can monitor the temperatures of staff and guests who enter a business, and detect abnormalities in real-time. The unit also enables employers to manage attendance and access control, based on facial-recognition, ideal for staff, and comes armed with a sanitisation unit.
Businesses want to create assurance across their consumers, and provide a duty of care for their employees. It is not just a pandemic – it is a full-fledged reset that we must embrace. From globalised supply chains, to routine precautions in the home and workplace, the health of employees and the vast contrasts between healthcare systems and country leadership, 2020 has revealed much of what the developed world has taken for granted.
Looking to the future
Temperature check technology has been in use, globally, for more than two decades. As AI continues to rapidly evolve, today, the technology offers plenty of room for innovation. It’s not about detecting the virus. It is about using the technology to our advantage to better prepare ourselves for the future.
Bloomfield Technology strives to create a culture of wide-spread business support, encouraging businesses to grow together and work collaboratively to achieve the collective goal of simply doing business. As such, the company pledges 10% off sales to small businesses that may not be able to afford the technology, but will benefit from it in the long term.
There’s a lot of room for innovation in the temperature detection technology available today, and Bloomfield Technology wants to be at the forefront of changes for the better. The company would love to see the facial recognition used for employee time logs, guest check-in and more down the track, especially in its own properties.
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