In a world first, Abu Dhabi Airports has partnered with Meta Touch, a ground breaking UAE company, to deploy new touchless technology across 53 elevators at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH), helping to prevent cross-infection from interacting with elevator buttons and enable a COVID-19-free airport environment.
The new technology, Tchk (Touch-less Keypad Technology), was designed and manufactured by Meta Touch, a start-up based at the UAE University Science and Innovation Park (UAEU SIP), which develops innovative solutions designed to support health and safety. Tchk is a touchless control panel that allows users to command an elevator without physically pressing any buttons, by simply waving their hands in front of the panel to indicate the desired floor or direction.
Abu Dhabi Airports’ investment in this state-of-the-art technology is the result of the airport group’s commitment to containing the spread of COVID-19 and ensuring that its airports and facilities remain safe and healthy environments for passengers, staff and visitors. The airport group is continually refining its health and safety procedures to enable a safe, smooth and seamless travel experience for all passengers, in line with the directives of H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports.
Shareef Hashim Al Hashmi, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “The installation of the new technology across our elevators at Abu Dhabi International Airport is a significant development in ensuring the safety of all our guests and travellers. This innovative technology bolsters the extensive safety measures our company has implemented as a regional leader in the airports sector.
“We are constantly introducing new solutions at Abu Dhabi International Airport to contain the spread of COVID-19 and deliver a safe, smooth and seamless travel experience for all our customers. We are particularly proud of installing Tchk, as it will reduce the risk of cross-infection by eliminating the need to physically touch any elevator buttons,” Al Hashmi added.
Dr. Fady Al Najjar, Associate Professor at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) and Chief Executive Officer of Meta Touch, said: “At Meta Touch, we were keen to quickly design, test, and manufacture technology that can protect public health and fight the spread of COVID-19. These new devices are designed to be easy to install on any elevator, enabling companies to quickly introduce this additional protection against the virus. We are proud to introduce Tchk for the first time across the globe at Abu Dhabi International Airport, and will continue to support the nation in overcoming this outbreak.”
Dr. Nihel Charbak, Chief Executive Officer of the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) Science and Innovation Park, stated: “In these unprecedented times, to help in the fight against COVID 19, the UAEU Science and Innovation Park would like to lead the way to translating academic knowledge and scientific research into commercially viable applications to address the increasingly complex challenges we are facing because of the pandemic. The UAEU was always a driving force helping implement the extraordinary vision of the country's leadership and building national capabilities. Meta Touch is a local company raised by researchers and students from UAEU to provide safer everyday life for everyone in the UAE.”
Prof. Ghaleb Albreiki, acting Vice Chancellor of the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), commented: “The collaboration with Abu Dhabi Airports on touchless elevator technology in a post-COVID 19 world is of paramount significance. It is part of the vision and strategy of the United Arab Emirates University to collaborate with the private sector in the country. The UAEU is constantly working to employ the university scientific research capabilities to contribute to the UAE’s national agenda 2021. As the UAE national university, the United Arab Emirates University is committed to supporting the research and innovation needed to enhance community safety in our fight against the outbreak of COVID-19, as part of the UAEU commitment to advancing high-tech empowerment of local business development of artificial intelligence capabilities, UAEU is looking forward to taking further steps to increase its contributions to burgeoning knowledge-based economy.”
This new technology follows the recent introduction of CoDi BOT UGV robots designed to support with the sterilisation of staff areas, cargo facilities, and passenger aircraft cabins, as well SterixGates sterilisation booths designed to safely disinfect a person within as little as three seconds.
Other new technologies developed to contain COVID-19 at Abu Dhabi International Airport include thermal scanning cameras that incorporate the latest Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, as well cameras with facial recognition capabilities and heat motion sensors to track the movements of people, including those potentially infected with COVID-19.
The new measures are being implemented alongside the existing extensive range of preventative measures in place at Abu Dhabi International Airport, which include nasal swabbing and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, as well as other measures recommended by the UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP).