Automated social distancing?

by Helena Morgan
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HID Global has announced additions to its Location Services IoT (Internet of Things) ecosystem to simplify the management of social distancing and contact tracing.

As organisations resume operations, safe workplaces for employees need to be able to manage employee social distancing and conduct contact tracing. HID Global’s Location Services for Workplace Safety physical distancing application leverages Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) HID BEEKS Aware fobs that alert employees when they are closer than two metres for a specified period of time.

The new contact tracing app uses the same HID BEEKS Aware fob or a BEEKS badge/badge holder that is added to existing ID cards, providing a full digital trail of an employee’s whereabouts and historical interactions while at work. This enables quick response to cases and activation of isolation procedures as needed.

“Digitally managing social distancing is critical to encouraging the necessary behavioural shifts that will create a safer and more secure environment to which employees feel comfortable returning to work,” says Mark Robinton, vice president of IoT services, identification technologies at HID Global.

“Our goal is to use our established IoT ecosystem to help organisations restore productivity with confidence by making it easier for everyone to adjust to workplace physical distancing and taking the manual legwork out of contact tracing.”

To put the system to work, employers define distancing policies and alert parameters; zones can be created with geofences around high-traffic areas to minimise large congregations of people. HID BLEEKS Aware BLE fobs are then issued to employees, visitors and contractors to carry while on-site. Using peer-to-peer capabilities, the fob will flash and sound a brief alert when occupants are within two metres of one another for more than an allocated time.

Detailed reporting enables contact tracing using historical data on movement and interactions in order to trigger safety protocols.


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