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Social Distancing with RFID

by Samantha Kalany

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Preventing the Spread, From a Distance

RetailWhether we like it or not, social distancing is likely to stick around for quite some time, for this upkeep a significantly influence the risk of infection. According to Zebra, you can definitely gain a competitive edge with instilling location-based services that can not only sense the location of assets and equipment, but also improve the safety of employees working at every point in the production line. Don’t even get us started on how the productivity rates will skyrocket. RTLS shares similarities with RFID, but RTLS uses active tags, which means there is an active energy source included that enables signals to be transmitted individually. These signals are pushed out through 3 gateways and this triangulation enables technology to figure out just where the device is.

  • For reference, RFID uses passive tags, which is when the tag has to be within a certain proximity to pick up the signal.

Let’s say a customer is searching for a product that they located online, but were unable to find on the sales floor, the employee could pin it down in the back of office quickly by using RTLS. Employees will always be able to locate the pallet in question in good time. In a more relevant nature, RTLS can track employee movements from their ID badges/name tags to further contribute to contact tracing.

Where Does Contact Tracing Fall?

Contact tracing is used by health departments to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. in general, contact tracing involves identifying people who have an infectious disease and people who can in contact, to work with them to interrupt the disease’s spread. RetailWith COVID-19 in mind, the solution here is ask people to self-quarantine and isolate from those they’ve been in contact with. A lot of the time, contact tracing is conducted through general interviews with employees to get a better idea of their movements, but RFID and RTLS is just as effective in tracking their steps to further implement the social distancing mandates.

Scientists are predicting that generally lockdowns could be avoided if just 95% of the US population would wear a mask. With the national mask usage numbers coming in way lower than that, some feel masks might not be enough. Experts have found that contact tracing can used strategically to determine how to target shutdowns more selectively in situations where is spreading the most aggressively.

Though there is much to do still to keep COVID-19 out of our country, technology companies have a good head on their shoulders through means of preventing the spread and proactively working in positive steps. For more information on what BlueStar is doing to stop the spread and flatten the curve, be sure to check out our COVID-19 Solutions page to join the masses behind securing and sanitizing your workplace, no matter what vertical you fall under.

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