Technology

Want to avoid the Covid crowds? There's an app for that

Want to avoid the Covid crowds? There's an app for that

A Durban businessman has created a mobile app to manage social distancing by allowing shoppers to pre-book for when they’ll be in public spaces.

The application, created by Mfundo Dzanibe under Mzansi Digital Partners, comes as some parts of the country await a move to level 3 of the lockdown, which could see people flooding into public spaces.

He said the key was to manage shoppers before they left their homes and the DigitalQ application would do just that.

“Shopping centres and shops should ration the time for visiting their premises to have a better chance of controlling the crowds,” he said.

Dzanibe said as part of its array of features, the DigitalQ app would let people queue for available time slots at shopping centres, shops and any other shared destination of interest.

“People will choose a time slot that is available and convenient from a schedule set by the destination. Once the slot reaches the capacity as indicated by the schedule it cannot be chosen and the shopper must choose the next available and convenient slot.”

Dzanibe said the pandemic had wreaked havoc globally and forced people to adapt to new routines.

“Covid-19 has ushered in a new normal and irreversibly changed the way we live, in ways never seen in recent recorded memory. Navigating these uncharted waters calls for ingenuity and innovation in a world already characterised by technological disruptions,” said Dzanibe.

He said traditional ways in which people interacted, both in the privacy of their homes as well as in public spaces, would change forever as a result of the pandemic.

“Necessarily, businesses will have to adapt to these changes in order to stay afloat and, most importantly, to curb the spread of Covid-19. In this regard, the biggest challenge is to control people from their point of origin (their homes) so that they don’t flock into public spaces in one go.” 

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Dzanibe said several bodies had been approached with the idea — but had not been responsive thus far. He hoped progress would be made in coming days.

He said DigitalQ would be available as a native app from app stores and a progressive web app from www.appcentral.co.za.