Business

Irvine-based company develops contact tracing device aimed at employers

Connect Up Technologies has introduced its SafeDistance device. / Photo: Courtesy, Connect Up Technologies

By Brian Thomas

As the U.S. surpasses another grim milestone in total deaths from COVID-19 (more than 220,000 deaths reported as of today, according to cdc.gov), employers are looking for ways to safely bring their employees back to the office. Masks and hand sanitizer stations are now the norm, but how can employers monitor the CDC’s social-distancing requirement of at least six feet between employees? Irvine-based Connect Up Technologies LLC has introduced SafeDistance to help employees monitor their safe social distanced positions while at the office. The company says the wearable device can be used in work settings, at schools and anywhere people need reminders to stay a safe distance from others.

University students have had to adapt to wearing masks and keeping apart. Each student and staff member wearing a SafeDistance device can help. / Photo: Courtesy, Connect Up Technologies

Connect Up Technologies, which has for two years focused on assisting companies create safe work environments, shifted direction when the pandemic hit, said CEO Ognjen Grba in a statement. “Getting kids back to school, parents back to work and communities reopened safely is a priority for us. We know this technology will allow for self-regulating physical distance. We all have enough to worry about during the pandemic. In schools, teachers need to be able to focus on teaching, not correcting physical distance between students.”

The small, two-ounce device communicates with other devices when within a certain pre-set range to alert the user that they are too close to another. The company claims it is accurate to within three inches. The technology is said to be more reliable than mobile phone apps used for the same purpose, which use wi-fi and Bluetooth technologies, says the company.

Privacy of those using SafeDistance is also protected. The device does not collect individual data, only the number of the device it has connected with.

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