BEST COVID-19 RESPONSE IN IT / DIGITAL
disguise – disguise xR
With the Covid-19 pandemic halting all live shows, disguise – the technology platform that has delivered spectacular live visual experiences for over 20 years – had to rethink its core business offering to empower its user community of creative professionals. Working with this community of users, disguise developed and delivered their extended reality (xR) solution five months ahead of schedule. xR refers to technology that blurs the line between the physical and virtual worlds.
Starting with its early, memorable application in Katy Perry’s performance of ‘Daisies’ in the 2020 American Idol finale, disguise xR has since been used to realise over 250 projects, including the Billie Eilish: Where Do We Go livestream, the 2020 MTV VMAs, Gucci’s 2021 Aria collection launch, commercial shoots for Nissan and Hyundai and even in Walmart’s and SAP’s corporate conferences. Meanwhile, 190+ stages powered by disguise xR have been built in 35+ countries in a worldwide deployment to meet the growing demand for the technology. disguise is growing rapidly – recognised in the 22nd annual Sunday Times BDO Profit Track 100 as one of Britain’s private companies with the fastest-growing profits over the last three years.
Say Hello to Indigo: The Future of Front of House. Developed during the Covid-19 pandemic, Indigo is a market-disrupting, category-defining technology platform, first-of-its-kind to offer an entirely touch-free Digital Receptionist to improve the front-of-house visitor experience and reduce the overhead and costs associated with traditional reception resourcing. Indigo uses a hybrid of Facial Recognition and Voice-Enabled Software, taking pandemic-proofing to the next level, with a more hygiene-friendly alternative to the usual touch-screen solutions. Indigo is supported by a fully integrated Booking System, Events Management and Business Directory, on offer to organisations with shared offices and workspaces who have a need for reception support for a simple, lower monthly subscription. Indigo has been created by Maidstone software development consultancy Snapwire, in partnership with local software developers IvyRock and seed capital investment from Maidstone Borough Council (MBC). Throughout the pandemic, work has been underway to build the Maidstone Innovation Centre (MIC) – a new tech-hub for Kent’s County Town. This state-of-the-art facility will be opening in September 2021, providing flexible office space, facilities and business support for firms in the life science, healthcare and medical sectors. Indigo is currently being installed at the new MIC site, ready to welcome tenants and guests.
Lifesaver – Lifeline to the Frontline
Lifesaver are a certified B-Corp building better batteries, on a mission to create fairer, cleaner & circular power for people and planet. We have a sustainable portable power bank made of ocean plastic which can be autonomously distributed using unique vending machines with our IP, for events and venues. The Lifeline to the Frontline Campaign launched at the beginning of the pandemic. Our revenues plummeted, leading Lifesaver to be inspired by Chief Nurse Ruth Kelly speaking about how they keep a patient’s phone powered as he spoke to his son for the final time in Singapore. Since then Lifesaver have supported over nineteen hospitals and donated nearly fifteen-hundred power banks. This is total has saved over eighteen kilograms of CO2 emissions.
O2 and Hubbub – Community Calling
Digital connectivity has been vital this year and smartphones have never been more important. Whether we’re using them to access essential services, call loved ones or collaborate with colleagues, mobile is keeping Britain connected. However, too many people are digitally excluded, without access to devices or connectivity. 1.9m households in the UK are digitally excluded – a problem exacerbated by the pandemic. Meanwhile e-waste is the fastest growing global waste-stream, and four phones sit unused for every phone in use. With millions of old smartphones languishing in drawers or with the potential to end up in landfill, O2 teamed up with environmental charity, Hubbub, to put smartphones into the hands of those needing them most during lockdown. Together, we launched Community Calling, a community-led campaign that invited the public and businesses to gift their unused smartphones to those in need, which we then topped up with 12 months of free connectivity on O2 and the offer of free local digital skills training. We’ve so far engaged over 300 local community organisations across the UK and rehomed 5,000 devices. We’re halfway towards our target and on track to connect 10,00 by autumn 2021.
OnePlan – Venue Twin
OnePlan is the world’s leading live event planning software, used by over 2,000 events in 50 countries. In response to the Covid pandemic, OnePlan fast-tracked 3 new solutions: a Social Distancing Toolkit, a Seating Plan Calculator, and Venue Twin – the hyper-realistic, fully interactive 3D digital twins of stadiums and arenas. These solutions have played a fundamental role in our customers’ bouncing back and creating live, in-person events and festivals. As new habits have been formed – including increased work from home – OnePlan’s innovative solutions have enabled the planning and management of safe and successful events since the pandemic started.
The Social Distancing Toolkit enables event organisers to define crowd flow, especially at arrival and exit zones, with a series of tools to plan how attendees move at events. The Seating Assessment Calculator helped many sports organisations including Arsenal, Chelsea, Wolves and the Brooklyn Nets define ticketing solutions for where fans should sit in stadiums and arenas. And Venue Twin has opened huge new operational and commercial benefits by creating a hyper-realistic 3D digital twin of stadiums and arenas. Clients including the LA Clippers are taking advantage of this ground-breaking new technology.
Priority Digital Health – Covid-19 Welfare Platform
At the height of the pandemic, Priority Digital Health rapidly designed and launched the Covid-19 Welfare Platform. In partnership with Provide CIC and commissioned by Essex County Council, the platform enabled vulnerable Essex residents to register for support or register as volunteers. Healthcare professionals could then match volunteers, in real-time, to support requests via the platform. Almost 9,000 vulnerable people have received support from over 3,500 volunteers via this platform. The Covid-19 Welfare Platform has now been further developed into the Essex Wellbeing service which allows Essex residents to access and be referred to the services they need.