Canberra trials new social distancing technology for events

The National Convention Centre Canberra (NCCC) has recently hosted Australia’s first in-person social distancing technology trial using a smart e-badge developed by Harry The Hirer.

The smart e-badge consists of a small disc attached to an event lanyard and alerts users through discrete vibration when social distancing is less than 1.5 metres. It then resets once delegates apply the 1.5 metres distancing guideline.

The technology was tested during a Canberra Region Tourism Advisory Forum briefing attended by 90 tourism industry representatives including ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr, Canberra Airport CEO Stephen Byron and Australian Hotels Association ACT general manager Anthony Brierley.

“As one of the largest purpose-built meetings and events venues in Canberra, we’re thrilled to be trialling this technology for the first time in Australia,” said Stephen Wood, NCCC general manager.

“There is great potential for this technology to assist in reinstating confidence for meeting planners and attendees looking to organise and attend events in Canberra.”

Used in conjunction with other safety measures such as thorough sanitising, extensive hand washing and clear signage outlining COVID-safe practices, the e-badge provides an additional tool to ensure delegates feel safe when attending in-person events and public gatherings.

“The initiative will help individuals control their own environment and personal space, and presents another tangible, practical measure to help people feel comfortable in participating in events,” said Michael Matthews, CEO at Canberra Convention Bureau.

“I see application for venues, institutions, and galleries to use the platform to assist with gatherings, tours and staff.”