Yang Yuanqing, Lenovo CEO, in 2016. Photo: Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images for Motorola Mobility

Chinese tech giant Lenovo is joining a growing list of tech firms that see a business in helping other companies reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why it matters: Technology can't address all the issues related to a return to office life, but there are lots of opportunities in the software and hardware needed to detect fevers, keep workers physically separated and track which workers have been in contact with one another.

Driving the news: The company's nascent commercial Internet of Things business, based in the U.S., is partnering with a number of smaller vendors to offer tools to help businesses with tasks like touchless entry, thermal temperature scanning and keeping track of which employees interact with one another.

Details: Lenovo is handling the overall distribution, service and support, while it is tapping partners with experience in the sector to provide specific hardware.

  • Partners include CXApp, Inpixon, L Squared, Relogix, Openpath, and Viper Imaging.

Between the lines: Lenovo only started its commercial IoT business late last year and had yet to launch its first products when the pandemic hit. "We flipped all our offerings before they were even released," said John Gordon, president of Lenovo's commercial I0T business.

Many of Lenovo's partners have also shifted gears to focus on COVID-19.

  • In the past, Viper Imaging's thermal scanning solutions were used to check the temperature of food or monitor conditions at steel mills. Now the firm is shifting to focus on people.
  • Thermal scanning was sometimes used in Asia during past disease outbreaks, like H1N1, but the technology was still too nascent and expensive for widespread use.
  • "We've learned a lot since then," said Viper Imaging co-founder Andy Beck.

Go deeper: When going back to work isn't safe

Go deeper

Updated 6 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 11,288,094 — Total deaths: 531,244 — Total recoveries — 6,075,489Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 2,839,917 — Total deaths: 129,676 — Total recoveries: 894,325 — Total tested: 34,858,427Map.
  3. States: Photos of America's pandemic July 4 ICU beds in Arizona hot spot near capacity.
  4. Public health: U.S. coronavirus infections hit record highs for 3 straight days.
  5. Politics: Trump extends PPP application deadlineKimberly Guilfoyle tests positive.
  6. World: Mexican leaders call for tighter border control as infections rise in U.S.
  7. Sports: 31 MLB players test positive as workouts resume.
  8. 1 📽 thing: Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback.

Protester dies after car drives through closed highway in Seattle

Protesters gather on Interstate 5 on June 23, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images

One person is dead and another is in serious condition after a car drove onto a closed freeway in Seattle early Saturday and into protesters against police brutality, AP reports.

  • "Summer Taylor, 24, of Seattle died in the evening at Harborview Medical Center, spokesperson Susan Gregg said."

Where it stands: The suspect, Dawit Kelete of Seattle, fled the scene after hitting the protesters, and was later put in custody after another protester chased him for about a mile. He was charged with two counts of vehicular assault. Officials told the AP they did not know whether it was a targeted attack, but the driver was not impaired.

Trump's failing culture wars

Data: Google; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

President Trump built his political brand by stoking the nation's culture wars, but search data is showing us how much harder it's been for him to replicate that success while running against another white man in his 70s — and while there's a coronavirus pandemic.

The big picture: Google Trends data shows Trump's "Sleepy Joe" name-calling isn't generating nearly the buzz "Crooked Hillary" (or "Little Marco") did in 2016. Base voters who relished doubting President Obama's birth certificate aren't questioning Biden's.