Social distancing COVID-19 tech: New Safe Spacer beeps if people get closer than 6 feet

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Instead of contact tracing, there's another new kind of device that looks to honor social distancing by beeping when people get closer than 6 feet.

Safe Spacer is a new gadget aimed at businesses looking to get workers back inside and on the job, like food processing plants, museums and shipment warehouses. Each device sells for $99 a piece, and is meant to be worn by the entire team. It will be available at the end of the month.

The product comes from IK Multimedia, the Modena, Italy-based company which is best known for making microphones and dongles to connect guitars to smartphones.

The product shown resembles a watch, but it can be worn on a lanyard, wristband or belt loop, IK says. When people get within 6 feet of each other, a beep or vibration goes off. The system uses Ultra-wideband technology, which IK says is 10 times more reliable than Bluetooth.

IK isn't targeting consumers since the product only responds when around other wearers and says companies with at least 25 people on staff makes more sense.

The units built-in memory allows contact tracing in the event of Coronavirus exposure, the company says.

But mostly, it's designed to keep people socially distant. "We all have two eyes," says Gary Kerzner of IK Multimedia. "But sometimes we think we are six feet away when we're not really."

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