A SOCIAL distancing gadget that beeps whenever you're not keeping two metres from someone could help people return to work.
The beeper has been invented by Pathfindr and aims to helps companies keep their workers safe.
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In the UK and the US, two metres apart is the recommended distance to stand in order to try and not spread Covid-19.
Pathfindr, based in Norfolk in the UK, usually provides internet-based technical solutions for companies.
However, since the coronavirus pandemic broke out the company has received thousands of concerns about keeping workers safe in the office.
This is why Pathfindr has now entirely switched its production to focus on beepers.
The company's chief technical officer, Ben Sturgess, told Sky News: "It's very simple to use. You wear it round your neck, on a belt or in your pocket, and it pings out a signal constantly at a rate of about two per second.
"If there are any other devices nearby, it sends the message back, calculating how far that other person is away, and if you're within two metres it emits an audible beep."
The company tried to harness Bluetooth technology at first but realised this was bouncing off objects and being blocked by people's bodies.
Sturgess added: "We are using technology called ultra wideband which is a much higher frequency.
"The device measures how long a radio wave takes to travel at the speed of light from one device to another and back again."
Pathfindr managed to create a useable device in less than four weeks.
Hundreds of units per week are already being sold but international demand is surging.
The company is expecting many thousands of orders per week by next month.
Companies enquiring about the device are said to include pharmaceutical companies in Europe and a martial arts clubs in New York.
Pathfindr managing director, Matt Isherwood, told Sky News that the beepers could be useful for the hospitality industry.
He said: "Any customers would wear them whilst in the building to keep socially distant from other customers and staff, and then hand them back at the end of their visit to be sterilised and used again."
Saxon Air, a British-based private charter airline company, is currently using the beepers.
Luke Frost, Saxon's safety manager, told Sky News: "Social distancing is so abnormal for all of us, and yet overnight there's an expectation we maintain that distance.
"So we've been using the device to help remind everyone in our workspace to keep that two metre distance."
In other news, the BBC is launching a new experimental tool that lets you watch TV with loved ones that aren't in your household.
Google’s free Zoom rival lets you call 100 people with no time limit.
And, coronavirus could soon be detected ‘within a minute’ by coughing onto your smartphone.
Would you use a social distancing device like this? Let us know in the comments…
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