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Tiny Device Aims to Fight COVID-19 with LiDAR

07-23-2020 08:45 AM CET | Science & Education

Press release from: MicroElectronicDesign, Inc.

tinyLiDAR SafeDistance Physical Distancing Key Fob

tinyLiDAR SafeDistance Physical Distancing Key Fob

Toronto, Canada, July 21, 2020
MicroElectronicDesign has created a new social-distancing device called tinyLiDAR SafeDistance. This key fob size device provides visual indication of the measured distance by the color of its LED. Like a traffic light, green is for greater than 2m and red for under 1m. They claim it's more accurate than radio based solutions and costs less. The device is currently in the fundraising stage at Indiegogo but their campaign is short and has fixed funding so contribute early if you want to see this project come to life. Visit or for more information.

"The CDC had always recommended 6ft of social distancing but we saw waiting lines where people were standing more like 2ft away from each other. It's tough to gauge the actual distance with your eyes so we wanted to help fix this. After reviewing the merits of all of the distancing technologies we decided on using LiDAR." explains Dinesh Bhatia, Principal Design Engineer at MicroElectronicDesign.
"Others settled on using Ultra-wideband (UWB) or Bluetooth radios, but these were just too complex and expensive for the task - not to mention inaccurate! There's a lot of variability when the antenna is so close to the body.
We applied the KISS engineering principal and opted to use a micro size laser distance sensor from ST Microelectronics called VL53L1X. Generically, it's known as LiDAR but ST calls it 'time-of-flight'.
Using LiDAR you only need a single device whereas radio systems require multiple units. So our tinyLiDAR SafeDistance is only about the size of a car key, weighs half an ounce, is more accurate and costs a tiny fraction of the competing solutions which cost several hundreds of dollars! We think the radio method may work for some factory environments but tinyLiDAR SafeDistance is far more practical and cost effective for the rest of us."

MicroElectronicDesign, Inc.
503-7700 Hurontario St
Mississauga, ON
L6Y 4M3 Canada
Contact: Sabeena Taharally, Media Relations

MicroElectronicDesign is a hardware engineering firm that designs and manufactures custom IoT related systems for OEMs.

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