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New devices could track employees’ movements to maintain social distancing


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You might have a new excuse to keep your distance from your coworkers.

When Americans return to work, they’ll likely be tasked with staying away from each other while performing their everyday duties. Because as companies reopen, it appears that workplace distancing will become a reality to stem the further spread of the novel coronavirus.

Some workers may even be asked (or required) to wear monitoring bracelets or badges to track employees.

Several different companies have announced products intended to help employees maintain a proper distance from one another, The Intercept reports. These devices include bracelets that can be worn around the wrist or badges which can be worn around the neck.

Companies like AiRISTA and Redpoint are looking to utilize Bluetooth, WiFi and radio signals in products designed to help companies monitor employees’ exact locations. In concept, the employees would wear these devices, and whenever they got too close to another employee, the device would issue some sort of notice. Depending on the settings, the device might sound a warning, for example.

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These devices could be used to keep a log of each instance and even to track employee interactions.

Some hospitals already use devices that utilize RFID chips to monitor employees’ movements, according to Slate. These devices can also be placed on door handles, sinks and soap dispensers, to recognize when an RFID-enabled lanyard is nearby, thereby tracking which employees are washing their hands properly. These hospitals, too, can reportedly monitor which workers are interacting with specific objects and keep a log of behaviors.

Redpoint, meanwhile, said in a recent press release that companies in China are already utilizing its technology to help enforce social-distancing measures.

“When we saw our solution helping our clients in China, we wanted to make it available to the rest of the world,” said Chunjie Duan, CEO and co-founder of Redpoint, in a press release. “We can use our technology to help.”

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