How this tech startup pivoted to health and safety following the trail of COVID-19
About the company
Transport Genie is an agri-tech startup that makes it possible to transport animals humanely through a sensor-based tracking system. The company’s sensors can track temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide and ammonia levels, and vibrations in trailers hauling animals, alerting drivers and owners to any problems.
Location: Guelph, Ontario Industry: Animal transportation
President and CEO Joel Sotomayor wanted to alleviate shutdowns in food supply companies and facilities such as nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Transport Genie quickly pivoted and worked with its partner, Ontario-based Marlex Engineering which develops electronic technologies, to use next-generation sensors that can re-trace the steps of an infected employee in a plant, warehouse or seniors residence. The system is called TRACE—Tactical Response Against COVID-19 EPIDEMIC.
Employees would wear sensor badges that would show where they have been. This would allow a company to use the data collected to close an area or a room and take the appropriate measures instead of shutting down an entire facility. Ideally, the technology would prevent large-scale shutdowns that could disrupt the food supply chain and potentially cause product shortages.
The goal is not to track employees, but to show where an infected employee has been and keep everyone informed.
Joel has proposed this technology to the Ontario government so that it can be used to re-open businesses and seniors’ residences safely.
“The TRACE system is not tracking you,” he says.
“It’s saying you were here in a particular spot. People want to go back to work, but they have to be safe. The TRACE system can help with both food security and help to keep the vulnerable in seniors’ residences safe.”