Lopos, a spin-off of imec and the Ghent University have unveiled the SafeDistance wearable that supports companies in remaining active or safely restarting in-person activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The wearable looks to warn employees through an audible or haptic alarm, when they are violating the social distancing guidelines while approaching each other. It also guarantees absolute privacy of the user. After successful pilots at medium and large companies in the chemical, metal and construction industry, Lopos is now scaling up to mass production.

"In order to limit the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible, it is crucial that we adhere to the social distancing guidelines set by international health experts and governments. The SafeDistance wearable is an intuitive solution that endorses social distancing guidelines in a professional environment. Employees can easily carry the wearable via a clip on the hip or a lanyard and rest assured that they are working within a safe distance,” explains Jen Rossey, CEO of Lopos. “Our
solution works as a standalone solution; no gateway, server or other infrastructure is required, no personal data are logged.”

The SafeDistance wearable is based on the Lopos ultra wideband (UWB) technology that originated from R&D at imec and the Ghent University. This technology enables a safe, highly accurate (< 15cm error margin) distance measurement. When two wearables approach each other, the exact distance between the devices is measured and an alarm is activated when a minimum safety distance is not respected.

Among the companies that have tested the device is AkzoNobel. Stefaan De Block from AkzoNobel said, “Our employees responded very positively to the effect of the Lopos safedistance wearable. It reminds them to respect the safe distance of 1.5 metres. We have seen an immediate impact of our employees’ interaction with each other and over 90 percent them are willing to continue to use the Lopos wearable.”
After this and multiple other successful pilots, Lopos has now ramped up production to meet market demand and has already received multiple large-scale orders over the last few weeks from companies active in a wide range of different sectors.