Irish company Taoglas offers new platform to help with ‘social distancing’

Analytics will help indoor and outdoor venues manage crowds

Retailers enforce social distancing. Photograph: Alan Betson

Irish-based technology company Taoglas has unveiled technology that will help venues manage crowd sizes and stick to social distancing regulations as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

The Internet of Things (IoT) company is launching the Crowd Insights platform, which uses wifi to measure, monitor, predict, alert and notify venues, both indoor and outdoor venues about public gathering and social distancing limit breaches in real time. It monitors the numbers, flows and dwell times of people in public areas, with thresholds that would trigger an alarm if intervention is needed.

Taoglas is already working with one Irish hospital, providing the platform free of charge, but plans to offer the solution to other health systems at cost. It can be deployed remotely and quickly, using existing wifi infrastructure, and collects anonymised data via smartphones. Taoglas said the system also fits with the current privacy laws in the EU.

"To do our part during this time of crisis for world humanity, Taoglas has taken proven technology from our recent acquisition of ThinkSmarter and accelerated development to launch a unique solution to help municipalities, governments, healthcare systems and enterprises monitor and manage crowds," said Ronan Quinlan, co-chief executive and founder of Taoglas.


“We believe this will be vital in the days and months to come to allow people to move around safely without fear and to get the economy moving again. Municipalities and businesses are now required to monitor the density of groups of people in public, to optimise social distancing, to ensure that the virus does not reestablish.”

Taoglas's customers include Three, Hutchison, Vodafone, FIRA Barcelona, Greenwich, DCU, Sligo, Dun Laoghaire and Dublin City.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist