Newcastle based mixed reality specialists, Luminous Group, has launched an extension to its environmental monitoring software, traXR, to support food producers in the detection and tracking of COVID-19 on surfaces in order to protect against contamination.

Initially launched in 2019 the technology can test and track for high risk pathogens such as salmonella and listeria. With research indicating that COVID-19 has a prolonged tenacity on surfaces it is a new challenge for food manufacturers and traXR technology allows them to effectively and efficiently track affected areas and reduce contamination risk.

Ben Bennett, managing director at Luminous Group, said: “Environmental monitoring is critical in food hygiene and involves swabbing high risk areas within production facilities to identify pathogens before they become a problem.

“Following the COVID-19 outbreak, it became vital for us to expand the traXR software for tracking the virus on surfaces with the same accuracy and efficiency we’ve already demonstrated for other pathogens.

“The swabbing procedure can be applied to a range of workplace environments and public spaces, and traXR provides both a trusted digital audit trail as well as immediate alerts and corrective actions. By digitally documenting the swabbing procedure through the traXR app, customers, staff, and the general public can be assured of a rigorous, auditable hygiene procedure.”

traXR is a cloud-based environmental monitoring solution using mixed reality to digitise what are traditionally paper-based processes in manufacturing plants, such as sample testing for potentially hazardous areas.

Using Microsoft HoloLens 2 headsets or a mobile app, traXR is a hands-free solution for the common issue of traceability in manufacturing plants as it records who, when, and exactly where the sample was taken. Users can include photos and audio notes as they track swab locations with this fully immersive technology.

Data is logged in real time securely transferred to the laboratory and back. Digital barcodes created by the platform take away the need for hand-written labels, saving time, minimising the chance of human error and reducing waste. In the traXR app the data overlays a plan of the factory to provide a digital audit trail of every swab and procedure. If it receives a positive pathogen result, the according actions are triggered and delivered to the next available technician.

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