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Health and safety

5 types of touchless technology to use throughout your workplace

Until recently, we didn’t think twice about touching door handles, elevator buttons, or sign-in kiosks on our way to work. But the world’s changed and workplace leaders are looking to touchless technology. Here are the five types of touchless tech you need to know.

Madison Stein
By Madison Stein Head of Content

Until recently, many people didn’t think twice about touching door handles, elevator buttons, or sign-in kiosks on their way into work. But now, communal surfaces are a hot topic as concerns over health and safety are on the rise. Workplace leaders are looking to technology to solve these concerns.

Some are upgrading their visitor management by creating a touchless visitor sign-in process. Others are implementing Bluetooth access control to create a frictionless entrance for employees. No matter the case, one thing is certain. Touchless technology is about to become the norm throughout the workplace. But what exactly is touchless technology?

The baseline definition is pretty simple. Touchless technology is anything that can operate without needing to physically touch the device. Here are five types of touchless technology that you can use throughout your workplace.

Types of touchless technology

Gesture recognition

Gesture recognition is the most common form of no-touch technology. Users can do simple gestures to control or interact with devices without touching them. Waving your hand to trigger an automatic door, for example, removes the need to touch handles or a physical button.

Touchless sensing

Touchless sensing can detect the presence or motion of a person under a sensor. Like gesture recognition, touchless sensing has become rather commonplace in our every-day lives. Every one of us has gone through an automatic door at a grocery store, hotel, or commercial building. So every one of us has experienced touchless sensing technology.

Voice recognition

Voice recognition systems let users interact with technology simply by speaking to it. This has become popular especially in our homes. We can make hands-free requests, set reminders, and perform other simple tasks by talking to Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, or the Google Assistant. 

Facial recognition

Facial recognition takes things one step further since it doesn’t require a conscious effort by the user. Technology that can recognize your team opens up a world of possibilities and automation in the workplace. Like how the new iPhone can unlock with a glance at your screen, imagine a video conference starting when you walk into a room.

Personal devices

For technology to be completely touch-free it must operate without the need for physical contact, like in the examples above. But the introduction of smartphones and other personal devices have made nearly touch-free technology possible as well. Anything that operates at the command of your own personal device allows you to avoid touching public surfaces. 

“Touchless technology implies that you don’t have to touch any public surfaces like door handles, elevator buttons, or shared screens,” explains Bernhard Mehl, CEO of access control company Kisi. “This is where your smartphone and other personal devices come in. It doesn’t take a huge behavioral change because we’re all on our personal devices all day long anyway, so it can even add a layer of convenience.”

Want more expert tips for using touchless technology to create a safe workplace? Check out our latest ebook, The workplace leader’s guide to touchless technology.

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Madison Stein
Author Bio Madison Stein

Madison is a writer, story-teller, and problem-solver at Envoy, where she inspires workplace teams to make the workplace work better. When she's not thinking of clever puns in the office, you can find her on the beach with her dog, planning her next vacation, or exploring new restaurants in San Francisco.