As people are starting to return to work, school and a more normal way of life during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, distancing will remain important for the foreseeable future. Companies, governments, and all kinds of organizations are developing or already implementing, policies and procedures to help prevent new outbreaks of the disease.
Lopos, a startup with origins at imec and Ghent University in Belgium, is releasing a wearable device that helps to implement social distancing protocols.
The Lopos SafeDistance is a wearable that can accurately measure how far away it is from other SafeDistance devices in the vicinity. If it gets too close to another SafeDistance device, as defined and set by the organization that issues the devices, it vibrates and emits a warning sound to get the two individuals to step apart.
SafeDistance relies on ultra wideband technology, refined at imec and Ghent University, that can accurately measure distances to within 6 inches (15 cm).
The device has already been tried by a few companies in manufacturing and construction, with positive results, and Lopos is ramping up the manufacturing of the SafeDistance devices. It will be selling individual units for $99 a piece, and there’s no recurring subscriptions or charges.
“In order to limit the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible, it is crucial that we adhere to the social distancing guidelines set by international health experts and governments. The SafeDistance wearable is an intuitive solution that endorses social distancing guidelines in a professional environment. Employees can easily carry the wearable via a clip on the hip or a lanyard and rest assured that they are working within a safe distance,” said Jen Rossey, CEO of Lopos, in an imec press release. “Our solution works as a standalone solution; no gateway, server or other infrastructure is required, no personal data are logged.”