The Ontario government is investing $2.5 million in wearable contact tracing technology that will alert users if they may have been exposed to the COVID-19 in the workplace and will beep or vibrate if they are within six feet of another person.
In a news release issued on Thursday, the government said it is providing Facedrive Inc., a technology company founded in 2016, with the funding through the Ontario Together Fund.
The money will be put towards the deployment of TraceSCAN—a wearable tracing technology for people who work or spend time in facilities where smartphone use—and therefore access to the COVID Alert app—is limited. This can include places such as airlines, schools, construction sites and long-term care homes.
Facedrive Inc. anticipates manufacturing about 150,000 devices and creating 68 new jobs in the province as a result, the Ontario government said in their release.
According to the province, the technology will be able to track staff exposure without using GPS information.
“Workers simply wear the device and the wearable technology will communicate with others within a workplace environment,” the release said. “If anyone in the working premises reports COVID-19 positive, HR or health and safety officials can log in to the online reporting dashboard and see who they have been in contact with and their risk level, then send an exposure notification. Contact tracing will be made simple with all of the close proximity contact having been recorded.”