Electrical worker safety startup launches a COVID-19 workplace distance and contact tracker

A startup that created a dedicated gadget to help ensure the safety of electrical industry workers has turned their talents to addressing the need for similar workplace protections in the face of another threat: COVID-19. Vancouver-based Proxxi is launching Halo, a wrist-worn wearable device that can provide a vibration notification to alert someone of the presence of another band within 6 feet – the recommended span of separation to ensure proper social distancing.

Proxxi explains that the device is designed to help ensure compliance with social stance guidelines while on a job site or at a workplace, where essential work might need to continue despite the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, but where it can also be tricky to maintain proper distance between workers without a reminder system.

The wearable uses low-power Bluetooth to communicate with other bands, and the bands also retain a log of which other bands they’ve been in contact with to provide internal contact tracing capabilities in case of positive coronavirus case diagnoses. The startup says that the bands don’t include location tracking, however, and they’re not tied to any specific personal identity information for any respective employee who wears them in terms of sharing info between bands or back to Proxxi itself, for the purposes of privacy protection.

We’ve seen other similar efforts, including Estimote’s contact tracing wearable for workplace use. Proxxi’s approach differs in a couple of respects, including in that its primary focus is on active monitoring and awareness round appropriate social distancing. Estimote’s wearable is also more focused on providing a visual alert system regarding potential contacts.

Proxxi says its Halo system can be set up and implemented quickly and easily, and notes that they don’t require connection with, or setup through any kind of smartphone to operate.

Per-band pricing is set at $100, and the company will begin shipping them out on May 4. Deployment includes both mobile app and web-based dashboards for monitoring contact tracing and tracking compliance and efficacy of social distancing measures on-site.

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