New COVID-19 Research Initiative: Ultra-Low Cost Social Distancing Band (Warren B. Nelms Institute)

New COVID-19 Research Initiative: Ultra-Low Cost Social Distancing Band

My T. Thai, Ph.D., Yier Jin, Ph.D., and Ahmed Helmy, Ph.D. of UF’s Warren B. Nelms Institute for the Connected World, Department of Computer & Information Science & Engineering, and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering are developing an affordable wearable device that indicates appropriate social distancing.

The researchers’ approach utilizes Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology in a wearable wrist band. BLE signal strength (RSSI) and transmission power level (TX_power) are used by novel distance estimation and classification algorithms, to notify users if they are within a specified distance range (e.g., less than 6ft) of another person. The detected signals can also be stored locally on the wearable device for 1) preserving privacy and 2) estimating exposure risks as needed.

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