IoT connectivity and security startup Nodle, non-profit foundation Coalition Network, and leading global technology solutions company Avnet, announce the creation of a new smart wearable contact tracing device, the Nodle M1. The device tracks distance and buzzes employees to let them know when they are too close to one another. The Nodle M1 can be clipped to an employee’s shirt or badge, or worn as a necklace. The device leverages parts of the open-source Whisper Tracing Protocol and is interoperable with the Coalition App, the privacy-first contact tracing application developed by the Coalition Network.
The news comes at an interesting time as there is growing mistrust of contact tracing in the United States and Europe. On the one hand, Apple and Google are beginning to gain acceptance of their contact tracing technology in Europe and on the others, minority communities in the United States, as well as libertarians, are wary of the Federal Government having access to this potentially sensitive information.
Then again, some areas like Washington state are mandating contact tracing logs be kept in restaurants and other establishments as a condition for opening.
Tom Cross, Executive Director of Member Services at the Pandemic Tech Alliance argues that the solution may be a number of contact tracing apps instead of a single global solution.
Getting back to Nodle – the fact this wearable solution acts as a social distancing notifier as well as a contact tracing solution makes it twice as valuable and ideal for the workplace.
“In recent conversations with government officials and large enterprises, we realized the dire need for privacy-preserving contact tracing smart devices that can work independently, and without the need for a smartphone. We’ve already received interest from large enterprises in the US and Europe for several million units and Avnet has the experience necessary to scale the production of these wearables in record time,” said Micha Benoliel, Nodle’s Co-founder & CEO.
To ensure privacy and security, The Nodle M1 provides a rotating random identifier to prevent unauthorized third parties in tracking employees or understanding the size of a company’s labor force. The Nodle M1 is industrial grade, IP67 waterproof, dust-proof and can live on a single battery charge for several days.
“The Nodle M1 will be a valuable tool for businesses as we continue the fight against COVID-19 because it enables employers to quickly notify anyone who may have potentially been exposed to the virus in the workplace. By leveraging the Avnet ecosystem to accelerate Nodle’s ability to deliver this device, we’re able to quickly bring to market a solution that prioritizes employee safety while enabling business continuity,” said Bill Amelio, Avnet’s CEO.
We have mentioned before that liability is a big factor in businesses staying open and reopening. We are in uncharted territory and businesses, building owners and managers could be held liable for spreading disease.
With frequent testing and contact tracing, it is becoming increasingly possible to pinpoint exactly where a Covid-19 infection began, making lawsuits easier to start and potentially win.
For more, check out our feature: Top 24 Covid-19 Changes Companies Should Make To Increase Safety And Reduce Liability.