New wearables to aid social distancing

Our top priorities when returning to workplace safely is ensuring that social distancing is maintained. Despite there being a difference of opinion about exactly what is the optimal safe distance between people, however, we do know that this is one of the most important measures to take into account, especially when we are in closed environments such as inside buildings like factories, offices, classrooms, etc.

According to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health published in the journal Science this year, it is possible that we require social distancing measures until 2022, in addition to the fact that said report foresees several possible scenarios related to other types of coronavirus.

With this unappealing scenario for the future, companies must adapt with all the necessary measures related to maintaining social distancing.

From a technology perspective, there are different ways to carry out this social distancing, some of them are indirect and at the same time less efficient than others, although equally functional. We are referring to measures focused solely and exclusively on the control of the capacity of people in a room or in a building. They are measures that can help us to social distance but don’t provide enough reliable evidence to know if that social distancing is being observed.

On the other hand, we do have direct solutions that always allow us to know if social distancing is really being observed and also collect the evidence of how and who has not respected said measure.

These measures, which if they are efficient, also require more active participation by employees’ visitors and customers, since they are based on the use of different wearable devices with which we can measure the distance between people. These devices collect data about contact and the duration of it and in many cases and as well as the distance between individuals. This is a very effective solution that not only to alerts the individual themselves but also other nominated departments such as human resources, operations, and security.

The technologies used by these devices allow for very high levels of precision, in some cases centimeters, and with a high level of reliability in the data collection itself. In addition, this data can be viewed through a management platform by different departments as mentioned above, while the devices themselves are capable of vibrating or emitting sounds to alert the employee himself on a social distance violation.

In addition to supporting social distancing these wearable devices can also be used to prevent other occupational hazards such as collisions with other assets or vehicles within dangerous spaces such as building sites and warehouses. Therefore, there are use cases that go beyond the current pandemic, and a return on investment can be achieved considering other aspects of safety.

In our Return to the Workplace solutions catalogue we have several manufacturers that can address the aforementioned use cases of social distancing, each of them with different variations that allow us to create solutions based on market demands.

Fernando Martin
Smart Spaces Industry Lead
Data and IoT Team
Tech Data Europe