Under the joint venture, ProxAssure and the ProxTag will be sold, supported, and marketed by SDT, while Visible will support the design and software, and manage the manufacturing


The new medical device enables automated social distancing and contact tracing. (Credit: Social Distance Technologies.)

Social Distancer Technologies Inc. (SDT) and Visible Assets, Inc. (Visible) today announced the formation of a joint venture to manufacture, support, market, and sell a unique new medical device that enables automated social distancing and contact tracing within industrial, commercial, aerospace, and academic organizations.

The ProxAssure integrated system combines a wearable wireless proximity sensor tag (the ProxTag), with programmable distance alarms, sophisticated, automated contact tracing, and quantitative dose analytics software (the ProxAssure application). ProxAssure, when used with face masks, mitigates potential COVID-19 infections within the workplace. Recently published clinical studies have shown that the combination of wearing face masks and practicing social distancing reduces the probability of infection to near zero. ProxAssure and the ProxTag harness RuBee (IEEE 1902.1) magnetic wireless data links and sensors to facilitate effortless social distancing. RuBee sensor tags are widely used in both industrial and defense applications and have many proven advantages over RF geolocating systems (e.g., RFID, NFC, LEB, Bluetooth, UWB, WiFi, GPS).

Unlike RF systems, RuBee

is not blocked by steel, liquids or humans;
has no multipath reflections (so no nulls or false positive alarms);
is FDA reviewed and safe for humans (HERP safe);
is an accurate tape measure with a tag-to-tag range of 10 feet (plus or minus three inches);
requires no new infrastructure, thereby facilitating rapid and low-cost deployment;
is intrinsically safe near explosives and ordnance (HERO, HERF, and -12 safe);
has no RF-compromising emanations and is NNSA reviewed (no eavesdropping, target or tempest risks).
Under this joint venture, ProxAssure and the ProxTag will be sold, supported, and marketed by SDT, and Visible will support the current design and software, create new and improved designs, and manage the software and tag manufacturing.

“The COVID-19 landscape is new to all of us,” says John Soares, co-founder, and VP of SDT and EVP of CMP Advanced Mechanical Solutions (CMP). “We brought our experts together with advisory support and research and development funding from NRC IRAP to help employees not only stay safe but also work freely and comfortably. With the ProxAssure system, employees can go about their workdays without the need for any awkward, unexpected proximity issues or uncertainty about what a distance of six feet looks like.”

ProxTags have a battery with a per-charge life of seven days and can be worn on a lanyard, shirt clip or belt clip. They’re lightweight and provide programmable visual, audible, and vibratory feedback whenever two or more users are closer than six feet. Each tag has a unique digital address and a programmable subnet address. Tag alarms can be programmed to change the range or be turned off based on subnet addresses, enabling a family to use ProxTags without alarms. ProxTag data logs include the time, distance, and duration of tag encounters as well as the tag IDs of nearby tag wearers. This information is transferred to and used by ProxAssure’s cloud-based contact-tracing and dose analytics application to create an exposure profile for each user. Employers can respond quickly and effectively in the event of an infection. No personal identity information is kept on the tag. The cloud software is NIST cyber compliant; it maintains all personal data in an AES 256-bit encrypted database that meets OSHA and HIPAA personal data storage and security standards. Its data encryption mitigates any unauthorized access to personal information.

“The manual tools currently available make contact tracing an expensive painful task,” says Visible CEO John Stevens. “The 50-plus smartphone apps and other RF devices that use Bluetooth or GPS geolocation have not worked well due to the inherent person-to-person inaccuracy of their RF-based hardware. The RuBee wireless functionality relies on magnetic waves to accurately measure tag-to-tag distance to within inches, regardless of the surroundings. Other standalone RF systems are subject to annoying false positives, interference, and multipath reflections, making them either unreliable or reliant upon additional expensive infrastructure. The simplicity, accuracy, reproducibility and reliability of RuBee make it an effective tool for social distancing, contact tracing, and dose analytics.”

Source: Company Press Release