How automation can help prevent the spread of viruses

Courtney Muraczewski
03/19/2020 in Know How
As the world remains on its toes during the development of the coronavirus, we can learn a lesson with our hands by going contactless. Viruses will continue to spread hand to hand and surface to surface, but we can minimize our contact with viruses with automation in our everyday lives. We are increasingly concerned these days about how technology for automation and control systems can help people. Today we are focusing on the topic of how automated environments can lessen the chances of spreading viruses:

First, let’s take a close look at coronavirus in a research study from the New England Journal of Medicine. How are they commonly spread? Besides the obvious human contact, infections can be transferred from surfaces such as switches, handles and more. Scientists have investigated, under laboratory conditions, how long the novel virus survives in the air and on different surfaces:

  • Air: 3 hours
  • Copper: 4 hours
  • Cardboard: 24 hours
  • Steel: 48 hours
  • Plastic: 72 hours

As you may already know, viruses are easily spread in offices and public spaces. Basically existing everywhere in your everyday life, which makes regular handwashing and disinfecting of surfaces extra important. Since most switches and buttons are made of plastic materials, the virus can adhere to their surfaces without any visible signs. In an automated environment, there is little to no need to even touch a switch or button and, therefore, pick up an infection.

Contactless control through automation

Think of the many ways contactless control has found its way into the public spaces we visit. There’s contactless soap dispensers, toilet flushes, automatic doors and more. There’s an increasing need to go contactless in offices, retirement homes, care facilities and more commercial properties.

For years at Loxone, we’ve been thinking of ways to take contactless control even further into our own homes and expand into commercial properties. Factors to consider in solutions are accessibility and suitability for all ages.

For example in our own 18 office branches, we don’t use light switches, thermostats or devices that need to control the lighting or temperature – it’s done automatically. This starts with motion sensors that include a built-in brightness sensor. Presence and light levels are monitored and communicated to the lights, which will then operate accordingly. The logic behind all intelligent interaction between devices that complete functions for lighting, room climate, multi-room audio, security and more start with the Miniserver. When and if your needs do change, any adjustments can be made right from the Loxone App from an employee’s personal smartphone or desktop. 

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More possibilities for business…


Automation is a sensible a solution for offices, apartment complexes, ambient assisted living and more. Explore the possibilities for your own business or commercial project:

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