Ontario Invests $2.5M in Covid Tracing Tech

Feb. 18, 2021

The Ontario government is investing $2.5 million in wearable contact tracing technology that 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 toward the deployment of TraceSCAN, a wearable tracking technology for people who work in facilities where smartphone use (and therefore access to the Covid alert app) is limited. This includes places like construction sites. 

Facedrive anticipates manufacturing about 150,000 devices and creating 68 new jobs in the province as a result, the Ontario government said in a press release. 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.”

The device will also beep or vibrate at users who are less than six feet apart. The tech is supplementary to the Covid Alert app, which uses Bluetooth to notify users if they come in contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19. It will also allow users to contact their local public health unit by submitting a form through the app. 

Source: Toronto News, Ontario.ca