How Social Distancing Wearables Work

We have had people ask how social distancing beacons such as distance bands differ to ordinary beacons. Normally, beacons send out (called advertising) Bluetooth signals that are received (called scanning) by apps on smartphones or Bluetooth gateways:

There’s no actual connection taking place. One side is repeatedly sending while the other is listening.

For social distancing, the beacons advertise AND scan:

Each beacon is repeatedly sending out an id and listening for others. Again, no connection takes place. When beacon receives scan data, it also sees the signal strength which can be used to infer the distance and hence whether the remote beacon is within the social distancing distance.

Beacons can store the id, signal strength and time. This can be extracted later via connection from another device such as a smartphone or gateway.

Read about Beacons for Workplace Social Distancing and Contact Tracing