Innovate UK Funding Story
The leisure, hospitality and retail sectors now face a huge array of challenges due to the covid19 pandemic. The UK-wide lockdown has heavily impacted how these sectors operate, forcing many companies to temporarily close their doors.
In response to this, TouchByte has taken the initiative to pivot to a new sector, adapting its current solutions to fit new safety requirements.
Technology requiring fingerprints, keycodes, and smart cards to gain access to buildings is no longer a safe access solution. This has enabled TouchByte to adapt its current technology to fit new requirements; entirely contactless access to buildings and spaces.
The obvious solution, for us, is the ability to use face instead. It’s non-invasive, automatic, and most importantly, safe.
We applied for a government funded competition, developed by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency. Innovate UK drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas.
We were awarded with a grant of just under £50,000 to develop a prototype in response to the pandemic; using facial recognition technology to grant access to spaces.
This grant has enabled us to adapt our current technology to provide safer solutions for a new sector; an entirely contactless access system which eradicates the requirement for touch all together.
An obvious initial sector to apply this technology to, was construction, and in particular, building sites. Across the UK, construction sites have had to revert back to a manual entry process, which brings its own health and safety implications.
Jeremy Sneller, TouchByte’s managing director, says: “The funding has meant that we can recruit additional people, so that by the end of this four-month period, we’ll have a product that we can take to market. This technology is transferable and could benefit not just the construction market, but multiple sectors across the UK too.”
TouchByte are working alongside a number of partners. Inndex are providing our workforce management backend. They’re enrolling users, and we’re then validating these users to ensure that they meet our technological requirements. We’re also collaborating with VitalSpark, who are creating our design visuals.
This opportunity has allowed us to enhance our pre-existing innovative product range to meet the requirements of a post-COVID19 world. With TouchByte contactless technology, we can re-open an entire industry, simply by using your face.
Want to find out more? Get in touch here: www.touchbyte.co.uk
Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation. For more information, visit: www.innovate.ukri.org