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Ford has a social distancing smartwatch in the works

Ford is actively testing a social distancing device for its US factory workers. The Samsung-made watch will alert wearers if they come within 1.82 metres of someone else.

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The current COVID-19 outbreak means we have to be extra careful when coming in contact with others. To reduce the risk of exposure, many workers have been told to stay at home. There are also measures in place in many countries that limit face to face contact.

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) social distancing rules means that people are meant to stay at least 6 feet (1.82 meters) from other people. What’s more, they should not gather in groups and should aim to stay out of crowded places.

Needless to say, this has affected many businesses in recent months. In the weeks to come we are expecting the restrictions to relax in many countries but certain measures will probably remain in place.

Bloomberg reports that Ford is looking for a way to allow its workers to return to US factories safely. To this end the auto-maker is testing a social distancing wearable to ensure employees maintain a safe, minimal distance of 1.82 metres from coworkers. The goal is, like for all other automakers, to get production going as quickly as possible.

For this they using Samsung smartwatches and a proprietary app developed by Radiant RFID. Whenever a watch comes within 1.82 metres of another watch connected to the platform, it will vibrate. This will serve to alert the wearers that they are too close to each other. The information will also be pinged over to supervisors so they can keep an eye on things and organise teams accordingly.

The solution is currently being tested with about a dozen workers at Ford before planned large-scale deployment. The company announced it is resuming production in May so is obviously looking for ways to ramp up its health and safety procedures.

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Ivan Jovin

Ivan has been a tech journalist for over 7 years now, covering all kinds of technology issues. He is the guy who gets to dive deep into the latest wearable tech news.

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