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The social distancing alarm that could change how employers enter a new normal

PariRange looks like an average ID badge, but it can detect and vibrate when someone is closer than 6 feet away.
PariRange looks like an average ID badge, but it can detect and vibrate when someone is closer than 6 feet away.(NBC15)
Published: May. 29, 2020 at 9:38 PM CDT
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A Waukesha company has developed a social distancing alarm, which could change how companies around the world conduct contact tracing.

EmbedTek’s PariRange comes in the form of an ID badge. It’s a device that vibrates when employees get closer than 6 feet of each other.

Ryan Rethwisch, the manufacturer’s engineering manager, explained, “The device is capable of broadcasting itself and announcing itself to the group of other devices.”

All employers need is the wearable tag. They do not need to install any infrastructure, and the devices can operate without Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

CEO Dan Aicher said privacy was a “core element” in the making of this product. The tags are linked with ID numbers, not names. “People don't like their location tracked, where they're going, what they're doing and, specifically, who they’re with all the time. This helps alleviate that," he said.

The interaction between devices is then logged and can be used as a tool for contact tracing.

“If someone did become ill, that company could quickly determine with whom they had contact in the past week or two and isolate those individuals, rather than guessing who they might've had contact with or not making a determination at all," Aicher said.

The inspiration behind PariRange came from the shutdown of several meat processing plants. But Aicher imagines his devices can be used in many more places, like across college campuses and in the military.

EmbedTek hopes to start mass production in August. Already, Aicher said, demand has been high from companies around the world.

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