Coronavirus: New Okanagan-developed app tracks physical distancing between employees

New app tracks physical distancing between employees

A new app has been created in the Okanagan to help companies around the world enforce physical distancing between their employees.

“We realized we could come up with something fairly quickly that will address … physical distancing,” said Clive Ross, Datalink Systems International’s CEO.

READ MORE: B.C. reports 3 new deaths, 18 new cases of COVID-19

The app, TooClose, will provide safe-distancing monitoring and will alert when two or more people come closer than the prescribed two metres.

Loud beeps will emanate from the employees’ phones and will alert them to move apart.

“It basically works on proximity of Bluetooth signals, and we are able to use algorithms, fairly precisely, to say if you’re within six to eight feet or two metres, said Ross.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Coronavirus: District of Coldstream reopens parks, beaches, public washrooms

According to the tech company, the app tracks all workers’ movements within the confines of the workplace, both inside buildings and outside.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

If two or more workers do breach the two-metre physical distance, the incident is transmitted to a database, which includes information about the workers’ identification, date, timestamp and GPS location.

Ross says although the app hasn’t garnered much attention yet in Canada, he’s heard from many companies in the United States, including the University of Southern California.

READ MORE: Safety measures enhanced for seasonal workers at South Okanagan campground

“They are scrambling to come up with devices that will work with the students, track them, and at the same time alert them they are too close,” Clive Ross told Global News on Friday.

The app also has a secondary function which allows users to press a button to notify management if they suddenly feel ill.

Ross says the app will be ready for companies and institutions by the end of May.

Bed and Breakfast operators in the Okanagan have been hard hit by the pandemic
Bed and Breakfast operators in the Okanagan have been hard hit by the pandemic