IIM-K’s start-up develops ‘Veli Band’ a wearable device to ensure social distancing

The Veli wrist band plays a sound-alert whenever you’re in close proximity to someone

As the country continues to register a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases and with the increased attempts to unlock businesses and economy, social distancing norms at the workplace become even more critical.

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 center, LIVE, an IIM-K press release said. Veli Band helps implement social distancing and location/contact tracing which can help organizations comply with social distancing norms during the current pandemic situation.

It uses location and contact tracing which can help organisations comply with social distancing norms during the current pandemic situation. The Veli Band momentarily vibrates, sounds buzzer, and flashes LED simultaneously to notify wearers that another band is within three feet or one-meter radius.

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.

Veli band is unidirectional, comes with a rechargeable battery, and uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology for detection. The startup had also recently bagged Rs 25 lakh funding under the MRPL IIMK LIVE Seed support assistance program, the IIM claims.

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Kiranmayee Mallepaddi and Srinivasan Arumugam, co-founders 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.

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 the appropriate opportunity and support is provided by institutions and society at large,” he said.