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Social distancing alarm launched to keep people two metres apart

PUBLISHED: 11:08 14 May 2020 | UPDATED: 14:29 14 May 2020

The Pathfindr team (inset) has launched a safe distance assistance. Picture: Archant/Pathfindr

The Pathfindr team (inset) has launched a safe distance assistance. Picture: Archant/Pathfindr

Archant/Pathfindr

A social distance device which will sound an alarm or vibrate if someone gets within two metres of the wearer has been launched by a Norfolk company.

Pathfindr's safe distancing assistant alerts wearers who get within two metres of each other. Picture: PathfindrPathfindr's safe distancing assistant alerts wearers who get within two metres of each other. Picture: Pathfindr

Pathfindr, which is an asset-tracking technology company, is launching the wearable device after testing it with a number of large UK manufacturers.

The alarm, which can be worn on a lanyard, works through low-power technology more accurate than Bluetooth and identifies if another person wearing one comes too close.

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Pathfindr has launched its Safe Distancing Assistant. Picture: PathfindrPathfindr has launched its Safe Distancing Assistant. Picture: Pathfindr

The device will then emit a sound or vibrate – though the scale of this can be changed by the wearer.

Ben Sturgess, co-founder and chief technology officer at the Norwich-based company, said: “This is a project we really care about and it’s great to be able to develop technology to help businesses at a time when it’s really needed. We’ve worked around the clock to build and test a solution in a matter of days, as the impact of manufacturing downtime begins to be felt across the globe.”

The smart device has also been developed so that it is only on alert when it is put on by the wearer.

Thanks to the low-frequency technology it uses, it also needs minimal charging and can run for between four and five days on a single full-battery charge.

Mr Sturgess continued: “The aim of the Safe Distancing Assistant is to enable work to safely continue – providing control to organisations and individuals working within them to prevent the spread of infection. We’re excited by the demand that we’re already seeing for this and have begun exploring the potential for it to be developed even further, including adding a capability for contact tracing into an enhanced version.”

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Should the buyers choose, the range of the device can also be increased up to 30m.

The team at Pathfindr, which is based in King Street, is also working on a solution which will enable the device range to be changed in the future, depending on government guidelines.

The devices are being sold in trial kits of two or 10, and are priced at £49 a unit. However, discounts may be available on bulk orders, which Pathfindr say will be available to ship later in the month.


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