Watch couple salsa dancing during a pandemic , we can do the same and use technology to stay connected.
August 31, 2020

Social distancing is a new word that’s entered our vocabulary in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s become important to flattening the curve of COVID-19 infections and
exiting the lockdown. How can organizations encourage or even enforce social distancing?

Having assigned staff run around your offices, stores, warehouses, and manufacturing facilities admonishing employees, customers, and suppliers to stand further apart is
hardly a workable solution. Similarly, having defense or public health organization run around public parks, streets, bus, and train stations glaring at citizens won’t be well-
received or sufficiently successful either. Installing more signs on walls or doors and decals on sidewalks or floors is also of limited effectiveness.

Many software and mobile app solutions have sprung up to help private and public organizations improve the monitoring of social distancing, protect people, and focus
attention just on specific areas where a social distancing problem is occurring.

Wi-Fi communication systems

Some company provides additional software and mobile app for their Wi-Fi communication systems that monitor the social distance between individuals, the volume of
people, their movement, and elapsed time spent within the site of interest. It displays the results on maps on the workstation of a site supervisor and admin. When one or more
of the limits have been breached, the system displays an alert.

social distancing app

The major benefits of Wi-Fi communication systems:

  • Requires no extra hardware part installation in the area being monitored if a Wi-Fi communication system is already in place.
  • Requires no software/ mobile application or wearable sensor to be acquired, implemented, and managed for the individuals being monitored.
  • Protects individual privacy because the location data being collected is anonymous.
  • Continues to work in any situation like poor weather, at night, or lighting failure situations.

The major drawbacks  of Wi-Fi communication systems:

  • Doesn’t identify individuals. This ability is often a requirement in a private setting.
  • Doesn’t notify individuals directly when there’s a breach of the minimum distance.
  • Isn’t aware of individuals without a smartphone or with one that has been powered off or one where the Wi-Fi has been turned off.
 

Video monitoring

Some company provides additional software or mobile application for their video monitoring systems that analyze the distance between individuals. It displays a blinking
rectangle around the images of individuals on the video display of the site on the workstation of a site supervisor when the minimum social distancing limit has been a break.

The major benefits of video monitoring include:

  • Identifies individuals through face recognition.
  • In some public settings, this can be a privacy violation.
  • Requires no additional hardware part installation in the area being monitored if a video monitoring system is already in place.
  • Requires no software or mobile app or wearable sensor to be acquired, implemented, and managed for the individuals being monitored.

The major drawbacks of video monitoring include

  • Can’t see individuals in blind spots when equipment or material is moving around the site.
  • Doesn’t notify individuals directly when there’s a breach of the minimum distance.
  • Doesn’t work when there is low light or a lighting failure.

Wearable sensor

Several vendors offer wearable sensors that sound an alarm, provide a visual cue, or send a text message to notify the involved individuals and a site supervisor when the
minimum social distancing app limit has been breached. Sometimes app or software can display a map on the workstation of a site supervisor showing a circle for each person at
their location.
Some more systems use a Wi-Fi communication system to display a map on the workstation of a site supervisor showing a circle for each individual. When the circles overlap,
the minimum social distancing limit has been breached.

social distancing app

The major benefits of wearable sensor monitoring include:

  • Identifies individuals based on the identifier of the assigned sensor, not face recognition.
  • Can identify individuals everywhere – behind walls, in confined spaces, near equipment, or moving material.
  • Notifies individuals immediately when there’s a breach of the minimum distance.
  • Some systems do not need a Wi-Fi communication system or Internet access facility.
  • Continues to work in any suitation like poor weather, at night, or lighting failure situations.

The major drawbacks of wearable sensor monitoring include:

  • Can’t be used in a public setting because there’s no way to assign wearable sensors.
  • Requires an application or a wearable sensor to be acquired, implemented, and managed for the individuals being monitored.
  • Requires the app or wearable sensor to be turned on and working.
  • Often more costly to acquire, implement, and operate than the other alternatives but offers more functionality.
 

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