The commitment and investment by Dubai tech firms towards creating a knowledge and innovation-based economy, have steadily yielded fruit, especially in the current environment driven by the Covid-19 pandemic. From the use of AI in multiple sectors to smart devices to 3-D printing technology, Dubai’s emphasis on innovation has made the Emirate one of the global technology and innovation hubs and a case study on how investment in the sphere of technology can propel economic growth despite a multitude of challenges.
The ubiquitous use of smart helmets by Dubai police that allows scanning the temperatures of hundreds of people within a few minutes is one novel initiative that amplifies Emirate’s ability to leverage technology in dealing with a pandemic-like crisis.
“These helmets have thermal sensors and it can record the temperatures of up to 200 people per minute,” say police officers deployed on special pandemic duty. These intelligent helmets, according to them, have two cameras and provide infrared thermal images from a distance of 5 meters. “We can easily detect those with high temperatures and shift them to the nearest medical facility with the help of paramedics,” they added.
Dubai’s weapon against Covid-19 is not confined to smart helmets alone. It also used 3D printing technology to manufacture low-cost face shields which played a huge role in keeping a check on the spread of the novel coronavirus. Immensa Labs, headquartered in Dubai, and an undisputed leader in the MENA region in additive manufacture, has been on the forefront of Dubai’s fight against Covid-19 by manufacturing and supplying face shields.
It all started in March when Immensa CEO Fahmi Al Shwaa discovered that some people were putting up higher prices for face shields taking advantage of the shortage in supply. “One morning around 11, he asked us whether we could do something about it. And, by evening we 3D printed 10 units of face shields,” recalls Immensa COO Axel Fernandes. The doctors who saw the product, needless to say, were greatly impressed. “From March till now, we started off with doctors, institutions and hospitals and we went from manufacturing 10 units to a couple of millions within a short duration of time and that was possible only because of 3D printing,” adds Fernandes.