Keeping Coronavirus Risk at a Minimum Through Enhanced Digitalized Workspace Security


Actility, world leader in Low-power Wide Area (LPWA) connectivity solutions for the Internet of Things, has developed the new Proximity Detection & Contact Tracing Solution based on LoRaWAN® which helps avoid the main troubles and threats for businesses and their workers caused by the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. The solution offers the ability to automate the monitoring of social distancing policies and keep workers safe at shared workspaces, by enabling proximity alerting, zoning and density policies control for factories and shared spaces, and much more.  

People are the most important asset in an organization, therefore, proximity policies are being  enforced in enterprises in order to help prevent Coronavirus spreading within workforces. Complying with safety measures is crucial for the correct development of industrial activity and to avoid costly temporary shutdowns, an issue which draw Actility to create the Proximity Detection & Contact Tracing Solution

This solution protects workers by ensuring secure social distancing and contact tracing, allowing people to feel more confident about working in co-located physical workspaces. It also helps companies comply with social distancing policies and trace infection clusters, which are both imperative to avoid business shutdowns. 

If workers from a company get infected and the enterprise is not able to locate where this infection started, the company will be forced to temporarily shut down until each worker has been tested, causing significant losses. Digital sanitary policy enforcement and traceability solutions are essential tools to help companies follow these measures and avoid these drastic situations.  

How can the Proximity Detection and Contact Tracing solution help my company? 

Technology, and particularly the Proximity Detection & Contact Tracing solution, can help organizations control virus propagation through three main different steps. 

Firstly, by enforcing social distancing and identifying clusters at an early stage. Viruses propagate in an exponential way, so stopping propagation at the beginning is crucial. Through ensuring safe distancing between workers we help reduce virus interactions.  

Whether it’s at an office, a construction site or any other work environment, each employee can be equipped with a compact wearable proximity sensor, based on the Abeeway Smart Badge, which allows to easily monitor interactions between people within common areas, also working as security ID badges for access control. 

When the sensor records two or more people exceeding the safety limit, the badge will warn the worker by two levels of audible feedback (warning and immediate danger) or through a visual alarm. This system also allows to have optional centralized monitoring of contact events, which can afterwards help back-track contaminations chains, making it easy to locate contamination clusters.  

Secondly, by reducing the number of infections. For this, we focus on the number of people infected by one single person. COVID-19’s average of infection is normally two per person, so the objective of the solution is to help reduce the number of people that get infected by that one person, which helps to significantly reduce the impact of the virus within an organization. 

Tracking all interactions between infected and healthy people can allow companies to identify contamination clusters. This means monitoring the potential spread of the Coronavirus from person to person, allowing to instantly trace potential contamination clusters through the connected proximity tags. These can immediately be tracked around the infected employee, limiting the impact to only the people who have been in contact with that person. 

If both previous steps have not been able to handle the virus spread, the solution focuses on one final step, containment

This step of prevention is acquired by the sub-division of the factory or enterprise’s floors into zones to limit the potential spread of COVID-19. The solution can help workers remain within their assigned area by audio notification and can optionally inform management if workers repeatedly violate zoning policies.  

Density policies enforcement can also be complied through this solution by audio warning when maximum density of workers is reached in a specific shared area. The Actility solution is also capable of detecting sanitation of shared assets by analyzing the proximity of these assets to workers and notifying on the last time that the asset was sanitized. 

How does the solution work? 

The Proximity Detection & Contact Tracing solution works through Smart Badges. High-end smart tracking devices designed for industrial environments by Abeeway, Actility’s subsidiary company specialized in low-power geolocation. These devices, known as Smart Badges, are high-end devices for industrial environments, which consist of portable multi-mode, low battery,  ATEX certified trackers, in an ID card format with embedded sensors which combine multiple geolocation technologies, supporting accurate and continuous outdoor and indoor geolocation. 

When one badge detects another close badge through Bluethooths Low Energy, a warning alert is sent when certain risk levels are exceeded. This encounter is reported to the business application through LoRa® connectivity, or optionally, devices can be located using GPS, LPGPS, WiFi or BLE beaconing, allowing connectivity at any type of location. 

The data is processed through a LoRaWAN® gateway and Network Server, powered by Actility’s  ThingPark™ Wireless or ThingPark™ Enterprise, or other NS solutions. Our ThingPark™ solutions are fully flexible and support multiple deployment requirements (SaaS or On-Premise), multiple ISM bands, multiple gateway vendors (out and indoor) and multiple IoT application platforms (AWS, MS Azure, SAP, IBM, Thinkworx, Cumulocity etc.) making the solution extremely easy to set up, operate and support. 

After being processed, the data can be visualized through a WMW application, supplying policy compliance overview, back tracking capabilities and business rule engines.  

Additionally, the badge also has an incorporated help button to provide additional safety to lone workers in case of an accident. These help buttons have also already been adopted, in different Applications, as nurse-call bedside buttons in hospitals, as they precisely locate the person pressing the button, and as trackers to monitor usage and prevent loss of medical equipment.  

Unique, safe, and fully compliant to privacy policies 

Our Proximity Detection Solution has annonymity at root. The information provided by the Smart Badges can be annonymized by back-end or at source, as the tracker DevEUI addresses do not have to be associated to a tracker ID used by tracking markings. Also, Zoning and proximity warnings can be local only or reported to the back-end, as required by corporate policies. Connectivity is also secured end-to–end by using strong cryptography (HSM) even in the case of a hosted solution. Hosting platforms do not need to access payload data.  

Try the solution out on a smaller scale with the new Proximity Detection & Contact Tracing Starter Kit 

The Proximity Detection & Contact Tracing Starter Kit is a demo package which combines the Abeeway low-power multi-technology trackers on a ThingPark-powered LoRaWAN® infrastructure and the WMW application, allowing to experience how LoRa® can help to enforce proximity policies and keep employees safe while ensuring business continuity. It is available on Actility’s ThingPark Market for three LoRaWAN® regional frequencies EU868, US915, and AS923

Want to understand the solution in details ?  

Watch Actility’s Webinar on Proximity Detection and Contact Tracing for COVID-19. Presented by Olivier Hersent, CEO at Actility , with Rohit Gupta, Product Manager at Actility and Bert Vanaken, Founder at WMW , this exclusive webinar presents how IoT and LoRaWAN devices can help fight against COVID-19 through the following points: 

  • Mitigation of Covid-19 Economic risks through technology
  • Proximity Policies enforcement 
  • How this technology works with a real-life demo! 

About Actility  

Actility is a world leader in Low-Power Wide-Area Networks (LPWAN) industrial-grade connectivity solutions for the Internet of Things. Actility provides its ThingPark™ platform and network technology to deploy, operate and maintain public and private wireless IoT networks within a unified, scalable, and versatile network infrastructure. The vast majority of nationwide LoRaWAN® network service providers (over 50) and hundreds of companies trust ThingPark™ all over the world. Through its subsidiary Abeeway, Actility also supplies patented ultra-low power tracking solutions.ThingPark Market offers the largest choice of interoperable IoT gateways, devices, and applications to simplify and accelerate deployment of Applications. 

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About Abeeway 

Abeeway is the market leader in low power indoor & outdoor fused geolocation and a provider of disruptive IoT tracking solutions worldwide. Abeeway offers the most energy-efficient, reliable, and flexible geolocation solutions using unique tracking devices and a smart Multi-technology location system optimized for long-range and low-power-consumption leveraging LoRa® connectivity. Abeeway devices are available on ThingPark™ Market . Abeeway is a member of the LoRa Alliance™ 

About WMW 

WMW is a product of ClearDigital NV, a Belgian player in the IoT space. WMW is not an IoT platform, but a technology to build platforms. The library approach is unique in its kind and allows the development of applications, with maximum flexibility and tailoring towards customized Applications, in extremely brief time. It has produced over 100 applications already and is being sold worldwide by resellers and partners in the Telco world (such as Orange, NNNco, LRTC, …), and in the System Integrator world (such as SCSK – subsidiary of Sumitomo Corp ,Capita, …) .

ClearDigital NV – WMW 

Bert Vanaken – CEO 

+32 498 520 479 

Published By
Actility is a world leader in Low-Power Wide-Area Networks (LPWAN) industrial-grade connectivity solutions for the Internet of Things. Actility provides its ThingPark™ platform and network technology to deploy, operate, and maintain public and pri...
Actility is a world leader in Low-Power Wide-Area Networks (LPWAN) industrial-grade connectivity solutions for the Internet of Things. Actility provides its ThingPark™ platform and network technology to deploy, operate, and maintain public and pri...