The entire world has been facing one of the hardest challenges of recent times. And technology continues to play a strategic role in supporting the businesses during this unprecedented time.

Now is the time to reinvent processes and rethink habits to maintain business results while being safe; digital technologies are a key enabler of this transformation.

To accelerate and broaden the effort to think about new solutions Cisco has leveraged its innovative partner ecosystem that, developing on top of Cisco platforms, can leverage and solve real business problem and accelerate outcomes.

One example of this is the co-innovation done with Bizmate with whom we have worked to provide a new social distancing solution specially designed for retail, companies, schools and museums to restart in a completely safe environment.

V-App is a brand-new Smart Integration Platform developed by Bizmate helping businesses of any size, and users of any technical level, to seamlessly interconnect resources to accelerate digital transformation.

V-App collects and analyzes in real-time data from the Cisco Meraki full stack simply integrating Meraki API endpoints.

The powerful combination of V-App and Meraki Smart Cameras makes available enhancement tools to detect people movements and analyze their behaviors. Meraki Cameras work as sensors for the business and V-App helps to turn camera’s footage into actionable intelligence.

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread in several countries, V-App has been used for social distancing monitoring purposes. It makes sure that customers and personnel correctly practice social distancing to prevent transmission. V-App is simple and works in a very straightforward way:

  • Meraki Camera detects people’s position in real-time. V-App keeps track of people’s movements, monitoring their social distancing.
  • If people get close, V-App detects a gathering and sends an alert.
  • V-App can trigger alarms and send notifications by email, texts or mobile push messages. It can also deliver personalized contents on digital signage systems like Cisco Vision.

In addition, the face mask recognition feature identifies in real-time people without masks who are making queues outside your store or doing shopping inside of it. It can send alerts to security personnel or simply create reports for statistical purposes.

Let’s have a look to some uses cases:

Back to School!

In Biella, in the west north side of Italy, there is the first example of a “no covid19” School. The High School Bona is experimenting the social distancing solution enabled by V-App and Cisco Meraki Cameras: in September students will be back to schools. Due to this solution there will be no need of plexiglass or switching students’ presence in the classrooms, just the usage of AI and technology. The application will be able to understand when students will be to close and to send an alert when something will be wrong respecting students’ privacy and the GDPR.


The application can be used to monitor accesses and social distancing in retail. The solution has been also integrated to the Cisco Digital Signage Solutions Cisco Vision and allows to show customized useful messages to the visitors.

Imagine a big crowded retailer or a big mall or a station where monitoring  social distancing is crucial but difficult at the same time: thanks to this combined technology it’s easy to monitor the social distancing and to send an alert and to communicate customized messages.

V- App and Cisco Meraki Smart Cameras help to comply with safety regulations in a more cost-effective and efficient way without assigning security personnel to monitor customers’ traffic at the store entrance. Plus, V-App real-time dashboards help businesses to make better data-driven decisions for marketing strategy and in-store advertising.

Social Distancing in Museums

Upon re-opening of the Museo Nazionale Scienza e Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci in Milan in July the social distancing app will be used to monitor visitors’ security distances.

V-App will make available real time information on guests’ concentrations and movement throughout the exhibits to avoid crowds and close contact among visitors.

Thanks to its features, V-App is dramatically useful for museums, art galleries, libraries, historic and cultural sites, as well as for other facilities with large areas open to visitors. By collecting and analyzing visitors’ data, V-App will provide the museum’s executive board with stunning insights into visitors’ behaviors to improve guests’ experience and operational efficiency as well.

The combination of features like people count, path analysis, footfall traffic, dwell time, and social distancing monitoring will develop a better understanding of what is going on inside the premises ensuring the safety of the public and staff.

Monitoring Social Distancing in Offices

Many companies are now planning for re-entry, allowing employees to safely return to its office following the coronavirus lockdown. Besides changes in working practices and physical workplace modifications – like placing transparent screens around each desk – a real-time measurement of workplace occupancy and utilization is going to become a must-have tool for each safety/facility manager.

V-App monitors live occupancy to understand and control how the workplace is being used for providing a safe and healthy environment in which to work. People concentration is mapped onto real-time heatmaps built on top of office plants to provide an intuitive understanding of what goes on in your buildings. Alerts can be triggered when a concentration threshold is met, if employees are not keeping social distancing, or they are not wearing their masks.

The integration with digital signage systems helps employees and visitors to understand which spaces are too busy, in order to avoid crowded spaces and reduce the risks of viral transmission. Moreover, V-App can use the digital signage system to trigger audio or video notifications avoiding close contact between people.

This technology has been deployed in the offices of NTT Italia in order to ensure a safety and security to all the employees.

As lockdowns gradually come to an end in several countries, it is time to explore post-lockdown scenarios. People need to come back to their lives and they need to be able to do so safely. By using Meraki Smart Cameras and V-App you will be able to take some measures to protect the health of students, customers, or workers, improving their safety and well-being.


Enrico Mercadante

Innovation Lead

Architecture & Digital Transformation, Italy