Pre-pandemic, it would have been hard to imagine that 2020 would see a raft of new products to protect people’s health by keeping them apart. Today, however, social distancing is a new term to describe a key prophylactic measure to prevent — or at least minimize — one’s chances of catching or spreading COVID-19. We’ve already written Kinexon’s SafeZone wearable, a scalable platform using an existing industrial solution to alert users to potential compromises. We also covered new solutions, including the Tharsus Bump and Lopos’s SafeDistance wearables.

The UK’s IK Multimedia recently introduced another social distance warning and contact tracking system. Safe Spacer, available directly from the manufacturer this September and ready for pre-orders now, is a proximity sensing platform that utilizes UWT: ultra-wideband wireless technology. T

The Safe Spacer user module fits in a variety of holders including a wristband, lanyard, and belt loop. The wearer can also choose visual, haptic, or audio alerts when a device gets too close to other Safe Spacers. Each Safe Spacer device has a unique ID. The device also has onboard memory to store locations, movement, and proximity incidents. Wearers maintain their privacy because the device stores location data and incident history by unit ID only, not by the wearer’s name. In the case of exposure to a person who tests positive for COVID-19, Safe Spacer data assists with contact tracing. Other options include syncing to local computers or to the cloud.

Multiple solutions that support social distancing in workplaces and potentially schools and other locations give the category greater weight, which hopefully will reinforce the adoption of preventative solutions for the pandemic. Safe Spacer’s versatility in offering multiple ways to wear the device and user choice of alert modes may increase comfort with the technology.