PHI DATA launches SmartProximity, the digital solution for safety distancing in the workplace


PHI DATA launches SmartProximity, a turnkey solution made in Belgium that supports and monitors safety distancing in the workplace. SmartProximity enables companies in the industry, logistics, construction and other sectors to create a working environment in which the safety measures for all employees can be actively supported and monitored.

“In quite a few professional environments like factories, production facilities,  warehouses, large construction sites and labs, it is very well possible to maintain safety distancing with the right information and tools,” says Guy Couder, CEO of PHI DATA. “It is especially important to actively help employees comply with the measures. That is why PHI DATA developed SmartProximity, a new Smart Edge solution that actively helps colleagues maintain the necessary distance. This makes it quite a bit easier and more practical to return to work and provides management with a good overview of possible problem areas and tracing in the event of a suspected infection.

The solution consists of ‘wearables’ (like a badge, belt tag or watch) that receive and send signals mutually using UWB (Ultra Wide Band) for accuracy up to a few centimetres or BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) for accuracy up to ca. one meter. When individuals get too close to one another, this is detected and the wearer is alerted with an audible alarm and/or vibration. At the same time, the wearable device sends a notification to the Gateway over a local network (Private LoRa). That network point then sends all data by way of a 4G or Wi-Fi connection to the cloud, which enables the company to analyse and manage any alarms and accompanying data, if relevant in anonymised form (GDPR). This is the second most important aspect of the SmartProximity solution.

Real-time reporting for fast decision-making

All relevant data for every incident is available immediately. “This makes it possible to monitor the behaviour of employees who tend to ignore safety distancing rules or take immediate action in the event of an infected employee,” explains Guy Couder. The data and corresponding report make it easy to identify which individuals have triggered an alarm, the duration of the intrusion and, if relevant, where it occurred. In the current context, this enables companies to quickly and easily determine which colleagues in contact with an identified infected employee must be tested. The company also receives an overview of, for example, the use of sinks.

Combination of preventive and reactive

“SmartProximity combines the preventive (by sending a personal warning directly when employees are too close to one another) with the reactive (through upstream alerts and diagnoses in retrospect) aspects of safety distancing. As a result, the solution makes a valuable contribution to employee safety in this time of increased infection risk. A valuable weapon in the battle against Covid-19, not to mention that it’s ‘Made in Belgium’,” says Guy Couder resolutely.

Plug-and-play without the integration headaches

The solution is supplied ready to use, including the tags for the wearables. All that needs to be done is to plug the gateway into a socket. The customer decides which type of wearable and technology best suits the business environment. The devices can be used both indoors and outdoors. The solution can be implemented regardless of the IT environment (4G), so that no time is wasted on integration with the ICT infrastructure and eliminating concerns about cybersecurity.

Two options

PHI DATA offers a choice of two packages:

  • A Starter package consisting of a do-it-yourself starter kit with 1 gateway, 50 tags for 50 persons, a SmartSense/SmartProximity annual license for 50 persons and a four-hour remote support points package.
  • An Enterprise package consisting of the Enterprise Kit (3 gateways, tags for 200 persons, a SmartSense/SmartProximity annual license for 200 persons, including 1 day of on-site training/support in the workplace and a four-hour remote support points package).
  • Both packages can be expanded with an Expansion Kit (a package of 50 tags and annual licence for 50 persons).

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