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Casella Launches Social Distancing Smart Tags for Workers

Casella Launches Social Distancing Smart Tags for Workers
18 March 2021

A smart-monitoring technology company has launched a wearable smart tag designed to make social distancing easier.

The body-worn Orbi-Trace smart tag gives the wearer vibration and audible alerts whenever a two-metre distance is breached.

The tag can also be used for contact tracing if an employee were to test positive for COVID-19.


social distancing tag

Picture: a photograph of the Orbi-Trace smart tag being worn


The Challenge in Reopening


Workers and businesses have never been more aware of the need for positive occupational hygiene culture than they are as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. There has been an unprecedented effect on businesses – in Q2, over 32,000,000 working days were lost as a result of COVID-19 related absences, translating into a cost of over £4 billion to UK businesses.

A key means of protecting people against COVID-19 exposure, in workplaces and in the wider world, has been social distancing – remaining two metres apart or one metre with extra precautions in place - something that will prove challenging on workplaces where floor plans are designed for special efficiency, not to keep workers as distanced as possible.

Casella's Orbi-Trace smart tag uses Ultra-Wideband (UWB) connectivity to detect distances down to ten cm accuracy – making it 20 x more accurate than Bluetooth and 50 x more accurate than GPS. 


Employee Privacy and the Rise of Surveillance


The Orbi-Trace system is fully GDPR compliant, however the development of this type of monitoring in light of COVID-19 does raise some questions regarding surveillance of employees in general, both inside and outside of the workplace.

Employers’ use of surveillance software, known as bossware, appears to be on the up, with off-the-shelf products able to track keystrokes, mouse movements and even take random screenshots throughout the day.

As our working culture continues to shift from a traditional model of the entire team working together in one place, employers will continue to look to technology to help them manage their workforce.


Contact Tracing


When combined with the wall-mounted anchor unit and Infection Insights software, the Orbi-Trace can be used to generate connection graphs and risk and contact assessments, should an employee test positive for COVID-19. Users can also access heat-maps of areas where social-distancing may be consistently challenging.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging time for everyone on a business and personal level. But where there are challenges, there are inevitable solutions,” says Tim Turney, Casella Global Marketing Manager.

“Businesses have proved their resilience and adaptability in getting staff safely back to work through the pandemic, and now as those businesses look towards the future with a large-scale return to work, we are here to support them.”

Picture: a photograph of a group of people at a business meeting, wearing face masks and looking at a smartphone screen

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 18 March 2021


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