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Ring-like smart doorbell monitors people in COVID-19 isolation

A short video is recorded and sent via app if someone opens the door.

Woman wearing a face mask - Photo by Michael Amadeus on Unsplash Photo by Michael Amadeus on Unsplash

A community in Beijing is resorting to smart doorbells similar to Amazon’s Ring to make sure people are abiding by strict self-isolation rules during the COVID-19 pandemic. The community in the city’s Shijingshan district now alerts workers and sends a short video recording over an app whenever someone rings one of the doorbells, opens the door, or walks past the door’s threshold. The community first received the doorbell as a donation from smartphone maker Xiaomi before buying more, the state-owned Global Times reported.

While the spread of COVID-19 has slowed in China, cities are still trying to stop contagion from people arriving from other parts of the world. Arrivals now have to go through a 14-day quarantine period, and more neighborhoods are resorting to smart doorbells to make sure they’re adhering to it. Another community in Beijing dubbed the tech “care doorbells”. Residents can ring the doorbells themselves when they need community workers to deliver daily necessities, collect garbage or perform other tasks.

Electronic door seals alert the police

Communities in several Chinese cities are also trying out “electronic door seals,” which are sensors that alert the police if someone leaves their home. But one of the most interesting and controversial ways China has tried to control the movement of its population during the pandemic is QR health code systems. These assign red, yellow and green codes that users must show on their phones to move freely around various cities.

This article first appeared on Abacus News.