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Fighting coronavirus: Smart bands come to the rescue, World News

It’s getting evident that we have to learn to live with a looming threat of the coronavirus. Countries around the world are relaxing restriction on lockdown and opening up their economies, but social distancing norms still need to be followed.

As people start getting back to their workplaces, tech companies are banking on new-age wearables that they hope will help in the fight against the highly-contagious novel coronavirus. 

Various companies are now working on wristbands as a social distancing management solution. Italian startup Metawellness has introduced an electronic bracelet which informs users when they get too close to others. The device also alerts users if they have come in contact with someone who later tests positive for COVID-19. 

The “labby light” bracelet starts vibrating when another person comes within a range of one metre. A similar bracelet has also been developed by the Belgian company Rombit.

The firm uses technologies that also work without an internet connection and this makes its digital bracelet, Romware One, more suitable for industrial environments. The solution allows employees in construction, logistics and other heavy industries to resume their work safely.

The American automaker Ford has also been testing wristband devices to keep ensure their workers practise social distancing. Reports suggest that this wearable could become a part of safety protocols at the Ford.

In China, schools are moving to temperature-tracking bracelets. The bands provide real-time temperature data that can be monitored by schools and parents via an app. If a student’s temperature rises above 100-degree Fahrenheit, the bracelet will prompt their teacher to alert the police. This is China’s latest use of high-tech to track its population’s possible exposure to the novel coronavirus.

An Indian startup, Muse Wearables, is also developing a wrist-based tracker which can sense skin temperature, heart rate to help in early diagnosis of COVID-19. It’s priced at Rs 3,500, which is approximately $46.

While wrist bands are the most common design, some companies are also creating neck-based wearables. A number of companies across different sectors have already adopted these wearables for the safety of their employees, but it remains to be seen if these wearables would become an important part of our new normal.

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