A Hamilton-based company has developed an electronic sign-in system designed for restaurants, bar and retail outlets to follow the rules under level 2.
Coms Systems, which builds and operates software for gaming machines, has built a self-service guest register using facial recognition to meet the latest government requirements in the battle against the spread of Covid-19.
Patrons who visit public venues will be able to use their face to sign in once they have registered. This is done by looking into a camera, part of a computer system mounted onto a pole, which records the date and time of entry into the premise, full names and address, phone number and email address. There is also an option to sign in by scanning drivers’ licence.
Paul Andrew, director of Coms Systems, said the contact tracing system named Ezy Entry was an extension of the facial recognition technology it operates in gaming rooms.
“This came around when our existing customers rang up in the first couple days of lockdown and said; ‘We need to open up and we know we need a track and trace register’.
“A manual system will work perfectly fine but if we’re doing this for months or even years, if you’ve got a regular customer base you do not want to ask them to sign in with a pen and paper day after day,” Andrew told the Herald.
“We could have easily built a QR code or app-based system as well but they’ve got some significant issues – app uptake is pretty low traditionally, QR codes are a technology for young people really and I think you’d struggle to get some of the older people to accept and use QR code systems.”
Coms Systems nationwide database would allow merchants to digitally keep track of all of the people through its venues, Andrew said.
The company started installing the technology that costs $3000, plus a monthly fee, into venues last Friday and has 70 confirmed to be installed over the next two weeks.
“Long term, if [Covid-19] goes on for six months, 12 months, merchants are going to want to have a system that is as user friendly as possible and ensures you are compliant with the rules.”
The company’s typical customer base is hospitality, but Andrew said it had received “strong interest” from other industries.
Coms Systems’ main business monitors gaming machines in more than half of the venues in New Zealand that operate pokie machines. The technology looks after the balancing and float systems and its facial recognition technology monitors who is in gaming rooms, Andrew said.
The company has a team of 14 people.