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'Instant Trace': Holland company creates badge to keep workers safe

Posted at 4:51 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 16:51:23-04

HOLLAND, Mich. — As President Trump eyes reopening the country, many people may be wondering about how they can safely return to work. Fleetwood Electronics, based in Holland, MI, thinks it may have a solution.

The company, which manufactures wireless, low power devices, has developed a product called 'Instant Trace'. It's a small, unobtrusive badge with a QR code that employees would wear, scanning in and out as they arrive and leave work each day.

The badge is built to provide valuable information about contact-tracing, if there were to be a case of COVID 19.

“Supervisors can then access that data at the end of a shift, end of the day, end of the week and identify employees who have been in close proximity to one another, either to help with coaching for those employees or also to look at ways they might need to introduce different physical barriers or other systems within their business so greater separation can be maintained,” explained Jason Grant, President/CEO of Fleetwood Group.

The badge also alerts workers to maintain social distance.

“If I were to approach you and you also had an instant trace badge on, this badge will turn red and it will actually vibrate as a cue to me, a reminder, that I need to maintain a safe distance. So it really provides visual cue that they need to change their behavior. So, it really does help with habit change,” said Grant.

Fleetwood believes it's a tool that will help businesses get back to work in a safe and responsible manner.

“I believe this is the new normal for our country until we have a vaccine in place," Grant told FOX 17 News. “It’s a luxury for people to be able to stay at home and work out of their homes... For people that actually make things, for people who work in plants, they don’t have an option, they have to be on site to be able to do their job and we’ve done everything we can to make sure they can do it in the safest way possible. We’ve had interest from fulfillment companies, from general contract companies, from many others that we think there could be utility, but we’ve designed it for manufacturers.”

As far as privacy concerns, Grant assures the badge only tracks the close proximity to other workers, not exact location during the day.

Instant Trace retails for $99 dollars each.

The company plans to begin shipping the badges out in May.