The Radius wristband: physical distancing and privacy protection

Slowly but surely, things are returning to “normal” in offices, stores, and on construction sites. This is made possible thanks to new sanitary measures aiming to limit the spread of COVID-19. Physical distancing is one of the more challenging measures for managers and employees. A new wristband developed by Videotron can help you face this challenge head on.

The Radius wristband is the fruit of five months of research and development. It helps systematically and easily facilitate a safe return to work. Businesses get access to a management portal that allows them to see interactions between wristbands so as to preventatively remove employees who may have been in contact with a potential virus carrier.

The Radius wristband was also designed in such a way as to respect the privacy of those wearing them. The only information it shares is its proximity to other wristbands, and it is entirely managed by the company adopting the solution.

An effective proximity indicator

The physical distancing rules in place to fight COVID-19 require a two-metre distance between colleagues at all times. This, of course, is not always possible, which is why complementary sanitary measures, such as wearing a mask and frequent hand-washing, are also necessary.

There are different tools available to help maintain a distance, but they are not all equally successful. The Radius wristband, however, is one you can always count on. It measures the distance between other Radius wristbands every 200 msec by using the Bluetooth protocol and analyzing the signal strength via Bluetooth.

When wristbands are in too-close proximity, they vibrate and blink in red to alert the person wearing them that the required distance is not being respected. In the context of work, if everyone wears a wristband, employees become increasingly aware of physical distancing, thus reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Reliable, confidential identification

Synched with a gateway set up at any other strategic location, the Radius wristband can also help identify people who may have been in contact with someone infected with the novel coronavirus. Contrary to a more generalist connected wristband or smartphone, the Radius wristband is not connected to the Internet or synched with a mobile phone.

Through Bluetooth, the solution only shares the identification number of other wristbands it was in proximity to during the day, and the number of times it passed the gateway. The gateway then sends this information to a centralized management interface that could eventually help notify people at risk of contracting the virus.

In several countries or regions, authorities invite citizens to download a tracking app on their phone, also in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. The Québec Government has recently adopted the COVID Alert app. Many people were concerned that personal information would be shared with third parties, but the government’s app notifies users who have been in contact with an infected person; the Radius wristband, for its part, is a complementary solution, acting as a preventive measure.

A management portal

There are two ways to use the Radius wristband. The first: To notify people working close to each other when they are in too-close proximity. The second: If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, you can track down other wristband wearers who have been in contact with said employee and ask them to take the necessary measures.

A centralized, secure Web portal hosted by Videotron, but accessible only to authorized individuals within the company itself, is used for this second option.

The company associates each wristband ID number to the person wearing it to know who to contact, if need be.

The importance of employee health

“We wanted to find the best compromise that would ensure confidentiality while providing the highest level of protection for the health of our clients’ employees,” explains Alexis Bourson, General Manager, Product and Strategy at Videotron Business. “If we can help them keep the impacts of the pandemic to a minimum, everyone wins.”

This is what led Videotron Business to develop this product. The Radius wristband helps support our clients as they get back to business while respecting the government’s directives. The wristband is a very ethical solution that meets their needs and respects everyone’s privacy.

A simple technology manufactured in Québec

The Radius wristband consists of a light sensor that can be worn at the wrist, thanks to an interchangeable, customizable bracelet. It can also be clipped to a belt, a safety helmet, or anywhere else on your person. The only constraint is that you need to have access to the charger it comes with, as the device needs to be charged regularly.

The battery can last up to two days, but it’s best to charge it daily, at the end of every workday.

An interesting tidbit: The device was designed by Videotron and Québec partners, and was manufactured locally.

Reassuring for your customers

The health of your employees is important. So is the health of your customers. A solution such as the Radius wristband can help reassure them, and even protect them if they visit a store or place of business.

“Take a grocery store, for instance. Employees can wear a wristband to help keep their distances and monitor contacts as needed, but there could also be Radius bands on the shopping carts to ensure customers also respect the government’s distancing rules,” explains Bourson.

The confinement of the last few months has deeply changed the behaviour of consumers and workers. Caution is important, and prevention is key when it comes to COVID- 19. The companies that will be the least affected by this context are those who will adapt quickly and implement measures intended to protect the health of their employees and customers.

The Radius wristband is a simple, affordable solution aiming to help these companies. It promotes physical distancing while protecting the privacy of its users.

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Visit our page to learn more about the Radius wristband.

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