Too close for comfort? Try the wearable social-distancing alarm

Wearable tech has moved from a buzzword at industry events to a real-life solution for tracking performance in athletics and allowing users to multitask more effectively with tools like smart watches.

But the Laboratory for Experimental Urban Design at the National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow has been working on a prototype which its developers think will blend the world of wearables and the fight against COVID-19.

Their device can be attached to a sweater, “or there will be a special attachment to wear around the neck,” said the head of the lab, Anton Artemchuk. The device works by flashing a warning at anyone who gets too close.

He added, “The principle of this device is its various types of signalization – visual signalization, when a light-emitting diode changes color, depending on the distance of someone in front of you. There is also a vibration motor, which … vibrates when someone approaches the critical distance.”

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