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Social distancing detection

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Technology can help us prevent the spread of COVID-19. But which technology? If you want to check social distancing, you could go for camera-based solutions, or wireless technology. In wireless technology there’s Bluetooth, Wifi, Ultra-Wideband (UWB) etc.

If you decide you need a wireless solution, it’s mainly Bluetooth versus Ultra-wideband. It might seem as a hard choice at first, but it’s really quire simple because they’re so different. Depending on your needs, either technology option will be preferable.

In terms of ranging accuracy, Bluetooth can’t compete with UWB. While Bluetooth (BLE) has (meter-accuracy detection (half a meter when filtering, which does come with some trade-offs), UWB can offer cm-level accuracy even on raw data. Another thing is reliability in less-than-ideal scenarios (like standing shoulder-to-shoulder instead of face-to-face). Bluetooth also suffers from distance errors increasing quadratically with the signal measurement error.

But there may be other things to consider as well, like price or battery life. If meter accuracy is good enough, you will be able find a cheaper and more battery-efficient solution based on Bluetooth.

If your accuracy requirement is not that great (and you can tolerate having some false positives / false negatives) you can find a quite affordable solution using Bluetooth. But if you do need that extra accuracy, and are willing to pay a bit extra for it, Ultra-Wideband will deliver most accurate detection.

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