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COVID-19 Tracker Uses Bluetooth and UWB

Nordic Semiconductor has announced that PHYTEC is employing a Nordic’s nRF52832 Bluetooth System-on-Chip (SoC)-based module—the Decawave DWM1001C—in an Ultra-wideband (UWB) and Bluetooth workplace social distancing tracker that was developed specifically to combat Covid-19. Ultra-wideband (UWB) is a low power wireless technology that can transmit data over short distances and simultaneously enables high accuracy indoor proximity-based locationing.

Called the “Distancer” and designed to worn around the neck like an employee ID card, PHYTEC says the wearable enables highly accurate face-to-face separation measurements to be made with much more certainty and accuracy (± 5-10cm) than other Covid-19 workplace wearables. As a result, PHYTEC claims that its Distancer could avoid the unnecessary testing of thousands of employees who may have worked within the vicinity of an infected colleague, but did not actually breach the recommended 2m social distancing rule.

In operation, the PHYTEC Distancer is worn by all employees within a given place of work from the moment they arrive to the moment they leave. The device is designed to automatically record whenever two employees wearing the device come within 1.5m or less of each other and for how long. PHYTEC is keen to stress that this data is stored locally in flash memory and only uploaded via encrypted Bluetooth wireless communication via the Nordic SoC to a customer’s own company IT servers.

The use of Nordic Semiconductor-based Bluetooth wireless technology also enables over-the-air (OTA) firmware and software updates to be made to an entire installed base of Distancers as and when required.

Nordic Semiconductor | www.nordicsemi.com

PHYTEC | www.phytec.de

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