Canberra introduces new social distancing technology

Australasia Coronavirus Updates News
Canberra introduces new social distancing technology

Canberra will be introducing new contact tracing and social distancing technology through the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government Tourism and Hospitality Support Package.

ACT chief minister Andrew Barr confirmed support for the delivery of new contact tracing and social distancing technology, Smart Badge, in a bid to help Canberra attract new business events to the region. The funding is part of ACT Government’s new Tourism and Hospitality Package, which is aimed at assisting the regional tourism and hospitality workforce.

The chief minister said: “Trialling this technology will help position Canberra as a safe destination to stage a meeting or conference. It is an important step in identifying new ways of operating, to support the business events sector and all the businesses that benefit from delegate spend in our city.”

“We’re pleased to see that ACT Government, through VisitCanberra, recognises business events as a major
economic driver for the region and is taking steps to help support our industry by making the Smart Badge
technology available to meeting planners.

“Being able to provide this contact tracing and social distancing technology to meeting planners looking to
organise events in the capital is an important part of attracting events once again to our destination.

“Canberra, with its open spaces and congestion-free areas, offers highly controllable environments to deliver
events and trace delegate movement. This technology further assists by allowing delegates peace of mind
that in the event of a Covid-19 outbreak contact tracing would be accurately and rapidly actioned, and that
they can feel comfortable attending in-person events with the live social distancing alerts.”

The wearable device was developed by Australian company Smart Badge and can be worn as a watch, lanyard or helmet clip. It is registered to the wearer by a QR code and maps their location within the set area of an event.

The badge alerts the wearer through a discrete vibration, flash and/or a beep when they are within 1.5 metres of another wearer and are infringing on social distancing guidelines. The device also has instant contact tracing capabilities allowing meeting planners to rapidly respond in the event of a Covid-19 outbreak.

Additionally, the technology can manage capacity control limits of an event through automated wearer mapping and using LED columns to alert guests when a room or venue is at maximum capacity based on proximity regulations. Future developments post-Covid include geo-mapping and movement tracing, with a focus on delegate welfare and allowing a safe return to in-person meetings.

The Smart Badge technology will be available free-of-charge to meeting planners with a confirmed event in
Canberra.

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