While several countries are now easing coronavirus lockdown restrictions and people are returning to offices, companies are reportedly rolling out a bracelet that will buzz or light up when co-workers aren’t maintaining social distance in the workplace. The new technology is intended t help companies adapt their workplaces to keep people safe amid the deadly pandemic. While speaking to an international media outlet, the chief executive of Proxxi, a Canadian company that is selling such bracelets, said that his company has already sold tens of thousands of wristbands.
Macdonald reportedly said that the bracelets give a gentle reminder to maintain social distance and it vibrates when workers are within six feet of each other. He also informed that the wristband costs up to $100 and will also start shipping to customers at the end of the month. Companies, including Ford, is also reportedly experimenting with Samsun smartwatches in its factories that alert employees when they’ve gotten too close to each other.
According to an international media outlet, the ‘buzzing bracelets’ highlight the extreme steps that companies may take to ensure the worker is complying with social distancing recommendations during such unprecedented times. The new technology is also the latest sign of an expected expansion of employee monitoring.
While the new technology is intended to keep people safe, several employees also reportedly believe that the bracelet is going to intrude their privacy. However, Macdonald said that it is up to employers to make sure their employees are comfortable with the technology and understand its benefits. He reportedly said that the wristband is not designed to be a ‘Big Brother’ solution.
Macdonald also explained that the buzzing bracelets can also be used for contact tracing so it is very important to use the device in an open way, rather than using it in a way that’s going to undermine that trust of the employees. While explaining the features of the device, Macdonald said that the ‘Halo’ bracelets help in contact tracing which will let employers see which their employers have been in contact with others. However, he also explained that his company does not collect any specific location data as it relies completely on Bluetooth.