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Canberra rolls out new contact tracing and social distancing technology for business events

The Smart Badge technology will be available free-of-charge to meeting planners with a confirmed event in Canberra.

Funding for a new contact tracing and social distancing technology, Smart Badge, is set to help Canberra attract new business events to the region in the new normal.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr confirmed the funding as part of ACT government’s new Tourism and Hospitality Package, aimed at further assisting the territory’s tourism and hospitality workforce.

“Trialling this technology will help position Canberra as a safe destination to stage a meeting or conference. It is an important step in identifying new ways of operating, to support the business events sector and all the businesses that benefit from delegate spend in our city,” said Barr.

“We’re pleased to see that ACT government, through VisitCanberra, recognises business events as a major economic driver for the region and is taking steps to help support our industry by making the Smart Badge technology available to meeting planners,” said Michael Matthews, Chief Executive Officer at Canberra Convention Bureau.

According to Matthews, Canberra’s open spaces and congestion-free areas offer highly controllable environments to deliver events and trace delegate movement. The technology further assists by allowing delegates peace of mind that in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak, contact tracing would be accurately and rapidly actioned, and that they can feel comfortable attending in-person events with the live social distancing alerts.

The wearable device provides triple action technology to help organisations work safely during the pandemic. The wearable ‘badge’ – worn as a watch, lanyard or helmet clip – is registered to the wearer by a QR code and maps their location within the set area of an event.

The badge alerts the wearer through a discrete vibration, flash and/or a beep when they are within 1.5 metres of another wearer infringing on social distancing guidelines.

Additionally, the technology can manage capacity control limits of an event through automated wearer mapping and using LED columns to alert guests when a room or venue is at maximum capacity based on proximity regulations.

Future developments post-COVID include geo-mapping and movement tracing, with a focus on delegate welfare and allowing a safe return to in-person meetings.