IIM: IIM-Kozhikode startup develops wearable hand band to ensure social distancing – Latest News


KOZHIKODE: With the COVID-19 graph continuing its spike, a startup, incubated at the Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode (IIM-K), has developed a wearable hand band that helps in maintaining social distancing by sending out alarm in case of proximity with another person.

Known as the Veli Band, the device has been developed by Qual5 India Pvt.Ltd, a startup co-founded by a woman entrepreneur, mentored and funded by IIMKs business incubator and entrepreneurship development centre, LIVE, an IIM-K press release said.

Veli Band helps implement social distancing and location/contact tracing which can help organisations comply with social distancing norms during the current pandemic situation.

The band momentarily vibrates, sounds buzzer, and flashes LED simultaneously to notify wearers that another band is within 3 feet (1 metre), reminding them of the need to maintain social distance.

The device, to be worn on the wrist, can anonymously keep track of interactions with other devices and thus not only help in maintaining a safer workplace but also aid in tracking employee movements in real time.

The band comes with a rechargeable battery and uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology for detection.

Speaking on the development, Professor Debashis Chatterjee, Director, IIM Kozhikode, said, “IIMK has always been at the forefront supporting women in business. Veli band is an example of women emerging not just as business leaders and founders but also as innovators, if appropriate opportunity and support is provided by institutions and society at large.”

Prof.Keyoor Purani, Executive Director, Laboratory for Innovation, Venturing and Entrepreneurship (LIVE) at IIMK, said the startup had also recently bagged Rs.25 lakh funding under the ‘MRPL IIMK LIVE Seed support assistance programme’ and is one of the most promising technology startups in their portfolio.

Kiranmayee Mallepaddi and Srinivasan Arumugam, co-foundersat Qual5, said the device provides information on which bands/employees have violated the set norms, as this information can help in contact tracing if need be in COVID-19 positive scenarios.

The data can also be used to monitor crowded areas to take necessary precautionary actions,they added.

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