Jessica Vermeer
22 May 2020

Lopos, spinoff of Imec and the University of Ghent (UGhent), is starting the large-scale production of a portable device to help maintain social distancing in the workplace. The device, called Lopos Safedistance, continuously measures the distance to other Lopos Safedistance wearables in real time. In case of insufficient distance, a warning is issued via sound, a vibration signal and optionally an LED blinker.

The Lopos Safedistance is based on ultrawideband technology (UWB) from R&D of Imec and UGhent. It works without data storage, allowing the device to guarantee absolute user privacy. The margin of error is fifteen centimeters, compared to 2-5 meters for Bluetooth.

The wearable was successfully tested within Akzonobel. 90 percent of the employees were willing to continue using it. The device will be available from 27 May 2020 for a price of 99 euros each, excluding VAT. Lopos has already received large-scale orders.

Sentech Social Distancing Sensor
The Social Distancing Sensor gives employees a warning signal when they’re within 1.5 meters of a colleague with a tag. Credit: Sentech

This week, Sentech presented a similar product: the Social Distancing Sensor (SDS). It also works with broadband technology. An SDS tag has a unique ID but isn’t linked to a person. The data can be read out to determine where clusters arise and tags within one household can be linked. The rechargeable battery lasts 8-12 hours. Sentech wants to use the SDS on the work floor and in the event industry.