As Americans begin returning to work, employers may consider investing in personal protective equipment (PPE) to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 on the job. A new “tap and track” smart face shield by GTX could reduce concerns about the safety of reusable PPE in the workplace.

GTX, a California-based maker of wearable tracking and recovery technology, designed the new face shield in response to the pandemic. The device features a comfortable, light-weight plastic shield that the wearer can slide up and down as needed. Each shield also contains an integrated near-field communication (NFC) chip. This tracking chip can identify when the device entered the facility, which employee it was assigned to, and when it was last cleaned.

Designed for warehouses, manufacturing plants, and other close-quartered work environments, employers can issue a face shield to each staff member who needs PPE. The employee uses the shield during their shift, then leaves it at work for cleaning. When they return to work, a simple tap of the NFC sensor in the shield instantly communicates ownership and cleaning info to the employee’s phone. The tracking system ensures that every worker wears only their assigned face shield and that it has been properly disinfected every day.

NFC technology provides short-range wireless communication between NFC-enabled electronics. A subcategory of radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, NFC offers enhanced security for one-to-one data exchanges between devices. The new face shields utilize GTX’s unique NFC platform for data storage. This platform powers other GTX “tap and track” solutions, including staff identification, inventory management, and shipping tracking.

In addition to the smart shield, GTX offers additional workplace health products to help employers minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 between staff members, including N95 masks, reusable and single-use face masks, and hand sanitizer. The face shields, made in California, can be personalized with a company logo. They are currently available for purchase on the GTX website.