imec Spin-Off And Ghent University Present Lopos SafeDistance, A Wearable For Maintaining Social Distance

Lopos SafeDistance
Image: imec

Lopos, a spin-off of imec, in collaboration with Ghent University developed Lopos SafeDistance wearable that supports companies in remaining active or safely restarting in-person activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The wearable warns employees through an audible or haptic alarm, when they are violating the social distancing guidelines while approaching each other. The solution guarantees absolute privacy of the user. After successful pilots at medium and large companies in the chemical, metal and construction industry, Lopos is now scaling up to mass production, reports imec.

“In order to limit the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible, it is crucial that we adhere to the social distancing guidelines set by international health experts and governments. The SafeDistance wearable is an intuitive solution that endorses social distancing guidelines in a professional environment. Employees can easily carry the wearable via a clip on the hip or a lanyard and rest assured that they are working within a safe distance,” explains Jen Rossey, CEO of Lopos. “Our solution works as a standalone solution; no gateway, server or other infrastructure is required, no personal data are logged.”

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Lopos has ramped up production to meet market demand. The company has already received multiple large-scale orders over the last few weeks from companies active in a wide range of different sectors. The SafeDistance wearable is available starting 27th of May from €99 ($108) per device without recurring costs.

A wearable device
Image: imec

Safedistance Technology

The SafeDistance wearable is based on the Lopos ultra-wideband (UWB) technology that originated from R&D at imec and the Ghent University. This technology enables a safe, highly accurate (< 15cm error margin) distance measurement. When two wearables approach each other, the exact distance between the devices is measured and an alarm is activated when a minimum safety distance is not respected.

Positive Responses

AkzoNobel is one of the companies that tested the SafeDistance wearable. “Our employees responded very positively to the effect of the Lopos SafeDistance wearable. It reminds them to respect the safe distance of 1.5 meters. We have seen an immediate impact of our employees’ interaction with each other and over 90 percent them are willing to continue to use the Lopos wearable,” said Stefaan De Block from AkzoNobel.

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Michael Peeters, program director of connectivity at imec, said:

“At imec, we consider it our responsibility to bring promising technology developments originating from our R&D to the market through the launch of spin-offs. We are extremely proud that Lopos tackles the very relevant and topical challenge for companies to find a safe way of working during the current coronavirus pandemic. In this particular case, Lopos is building on imec’s software expertise for ultra-wideband and sub-GHz, positioning technology and advanced hardware design, developed within imec’s R&D program for next generation ultra-wideband technology solutions.”