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Device will help maintain distancing to speed return to work

Safety technology company Tended has launched a wearable device incorporating social distancing capability to help businesses get back to work during the Covid-19 outbreak.

It aims to accelerate the transition back to safe working in industries such as manufacturing, construction, infrastructure and logistics.

Tended’s existing wrist-worn safety device uses sensor data combined with artificial intelligence to recognise movement patterns and trends. Automated data analysis identifies abnormalities that indicate the user has had an accident, such as a fall, or unusual periods of no movement, and sends an alert.

The new solution combines Tended’s existing device, an ultra-wideband proximity sensor and a smartphone to notify workers automatically if they come within a 2m distance of each other.

The company can set the minimum separation distance it wants to enforce, and the wearable will notify employees in real time if they come close to this distance and to move away. Ultra-wideband technology allows for high location accuracy, and is much more precise than GPS or Bluetooth.

Tended’s solution provides employers with an overview of any social distance breaches in their organisation, and how long employees have been in contact with others. It also provides tracing capability. If a worker tests positive for Covid-19, the employer can see who they have been in contact with and for how long. These colleagues can then be sent an alert to self-isolate or get tested themselves.

Privacy and security is a priority, and Tended’s device has been developed so that it cannot be used to track employee movements.

Consultant Arup will provide independent support to companies seeking to try out Tended’s technology, offering tailored services to review its suitability against other options, and where appropriate to manage implementation and scaling.

Tended founder and chief executive Leo Scott Smith said: “We’re working with large corporations that have had to stop running and send their workers home because they can’t effectively enforce safe distancing measures. It costs them millions each day, and they are unable to carry out essential works. We believe technology will provide the means to get the world moving again, and also keep people safe. We’re looking at fast development and deployment because we know we need to act now.”