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Belgian Port to Test Virus Bracelets Amid Tech Tracing Fears

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A worker wearing one of the bracelets.

Workers at the Belgian port of Antwerp will test a bracelet designed to enforce social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Credit: Virginia Mayo/AP

Teams of workers at the Belgian port of Antwerp are preparing to test a bracelet designed to help contain the coronavirus pandemic by enforcing social distancing.

Originally developed to find tugboat crew members that have fallen overboard, the plastic-coated bracelets vibrate when they are within about 10 feet of each other, with their vibrational intensity increasing and warning lights flashing as they come closer.

The devices ensure physical distancing and can be programmed to provide data, although data collection is not planned for the Antwerp deployment.

This effort comes amid European countries' scramble to design contact-tracing applications for mobile phones to help pinpoint outbreak sources.

Experts and trade unions are concerned about such solutions becoming invasive, and the European Trade Union Confederation's Isabelle Schoemann said most people do not require technology to understand how far away they should stand from co-workers.

From Associated Press
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Abstracts Copyright © 2020 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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