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COVID-19 Human to Human 'Proximity' Logger

Discussion in 'Sensors and Actuators' started by EduanShuda, Apr 16, 2020.

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  1. EduanShuda


    Apr 16, 2020
    In the midst of the Corona Pandemic we are looking to develop a wearable sensor that when within approximately 2m of another (of the same type) of wearable sensor will log an event.

    The ideal would be a low cost and very low power. It must work without line of sight since the sensor can be in your pocket etc. I've looked at all sorts of proximity sensors and none seem to be able to do the job.

    My only solution I could come up with is a sub Ghz RF transceiver that polls (twice every second) and is in receive mode for the rest of the time and when a message is received an ACK is sent. The output power will be set very low (0 dbm) without an antenna so should get around 1.5 to 2.5 m range irrespective of a human body that is in between sender and receiver (If I go with my intuition).

    Problem is that lowest RX current is around 7mA which means on a 1000mA battery will last less than a week.

    Has any body done anything similar or have any advise on maybe another type of technology I can use?

    Location is not important and it is most likely going to be indoor.

    Any advise will be highly appreciated
  2. dave9


    Mar 5, 2017
    It seems like an intrusive waste of time. It depends on both parties (or really, everyone) having the sensor which isn't going to happen unless government or an employer is mandating it. Plus, there is no assurance that you can nail down that short of a range without line of sight measurement, as proximity will depend on the location of the sensor and other ambient conditions.

    Recharging it every few days does not seem like much of an obstacle, if it uses mUSB to charge. Having to replace a non-rechargeable primary cell battery every ~two weeks would be more of a hassle to me.
  3. EduanShuda


    Apr 16, 2020

    I actually stumbled across this.

    I company in New Zealand developed a device very similar to what we intend to develop.

    They use BLE and the device is the size of a credit card. It states that battery can last 12 months. How could this be possible? can you continuously scan with BLE and get 12 months on a battery the size of a credit card, or am I missing something here?

    Here is the news article:
  4. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    Or you could use a phone to log which phones it had been near (and when, where, and for how long).

    This is the basic design of several government sponsored phone apps.

    Needless to say, there will be a large amount of push back, and not just from the lunatic Fringe. Even in a very socially compliant country like Singapore, the rate of adoption of these apps is very low.
    davenn likes this.
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