33rd Workshop – Wireless technologies for social distancing

VIRTUAL EDITION – WEBINAR : Monday 30 November 2020, 12h00-14h20


The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increased adoption of wireless technologies for high-resolution ranging. The well-known Coronalert app uses Bluetooth signal strengths to measure the proximity of 2 smartphones. In a business context, we see the the fast market introduction of dedicated social distancing alarms, many of which are based on UWB ranging.

While the societal added value of these social distancing solutions is undeniable, the question remain how accurate they are in measuring the 1,5 meter reference distance between people in operating conditions that are largely unknown to the measuring devices.

In this webinar, our speakers from academia and industry will provide an (independent) expert analysis of the wireless technologies that are – or can be – used in social distancing alarms. Special attention will be paid to the impact of the operating environment on the reliability of these solutions.

We will also present a vision on future innovations for high-resolution distance measurement, including future Bluetooth standards supporting phase-based ranging.

The focus in this webinar will be on the wireless technology itself.
Product-level aspects and product performance comparisons are out of scope.

Participation is open to all technology enthusiasts who want a better understanding of the working mechanisms behind social distancing alarms.


Kris Hermus, Coordinator Wireless Community & Innovation Program Manager Flanders, imec
12h10Performance evaluation of social distancing solutions
Eli De Poorter, Professor, imec-IDLab-UGent

We will summarise the conclusions of a few recent studies on the performance of social distancing solutions in real-life conditions. Besides, we will address approaches for finding an optimal trade-off between false positives and false negatives, and we discuss the relation between performance optimisation and energy consumption.
12h20Current and future wireless technologies for high-resolution ranging
Christian Bachmann, Program Manager ULP Wireless Systems & Secure Proximity, imec-NL @ Holst Centre
slides (members only, login required)
12h45Impact of environment and body on localisation and ranging
Wout Joseph, Professor, imec-WAVES-UGent
slides (members only, login required)

This presentation will address the following aspects:
– human body shadowing effects on BLE signals.
– UWB ranging algorithms: environment impact and body influence
– looking forward
13h00Short break
13h10Social distancing with and without additional infrastructure
Samuel Van de Velde, Founder & CEO, Pozyx
slides (members only, login required)

In this presentation we show how social distancing can work together with indoor positioning and which new features become available because of it.
13h20UWB-based, automatic and asynchronous ranging for social distancing
Risang Gatot Yudanto, Research Engineer, Flanders Make
Alain Van den Broeck, CEO, Option
slides (members only, login required)

This talk will discuss the building blocks for a fast response, asynchronous (no coordinator) and automatic distance measurements between any (multiple) UWB devices, which is being used in our social distancing alarm. This talk will also discuss the requirements of the application, the challenges, the inspirations to the algorithm and finally some measurement results.
13h35Sensor fusion based indoor positioning for efficient social distancing and contact tracing
Dirk Callaerts, Senior Business Development Manager, Blooloc
slides (members only, login required)

BlooLoc will present its approach for useful and meaningful ‘social distancing’ alarming in combination with contact tracing in controllable indoor environments.
13h45RTLOC’s smart distance meshing solution for COVID-19 prevention
Wim Marynissen, Chief Product Officer, RTLOC
slides (members only, login required)

At RTLOC we develop high-performance ultra-wideband solutions and work with other companies as a technology provider. We’ve implemented positioning and distancing solutions for the use in sports and industry. Our smart meshing solution, first researched for the use in sports, has proven to be the excellent basis for checking social distancing.
13h55Plenary Q&A session
14h15End of the webinar


Please complete the registration form below.

Registrations can be cancelled until November 23, 2020. After this date the complete registration fee will be charged. Please send an email to wireless-community@imec.be to cancel your registration.