Ford tests vibrating wristbands to guard workers from coronavirus

The wristband will give wearers a color-coded warning, too

Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here.

Continue Reading Below

Ford Motor Co. is testing an electronic social-distancing wristband to lower the risk of spreading COVID-19 within its factories.

The watch-like wearables are designed to vibrate when employees come within six feet of each other, which executives hope will remind workers to follow health guidelines when the automaker resumes production at now-idled plants, spokesperson Kelli Felker told Bloomberg.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
FFORD MOTOR COMPANY5.90+0.03+0.51%

"Ford and the UAW are working closely to identify different ways to keep our people safe while they are at work," Felker told FOX Business, referring to the United Auto Workers, the union representing employees.

The company was one of many car manufacturers to shutter North America operations in March, citing concerns for employees who work in close quarters building automobiles and might easily be infected.

Experts believe the virus is mainly spread through droplets from the mouth and nose. When an infected person speaks, exhales, coughs or sneezes, the droplets travel about 3 to 6 feet before gravity pulls them to the ground. Staying at least 6 feet away from other people is believed to greatly reduce the risk of transmission

FORD TO PRODUCE VENTILATORS, RESPIRATORS WITH 3M, GE HEALTHCARE IN CORONAVIRUS FIGHT

A Ford factory in Saarlouis, Germany, in September 2019. (Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The Samsung smartwatches in Ford's pilot program rely on software from the Texas-based technology firm Radiant RFID, according to the outlet.

FORD MAKING CORONAVIRUS FACE MASKS TO PROTECT WORKERS

The devices, which use Bluetooth short-wave technology to detect nearby coworkers, give wearers a color-coded warning in addition to vibrating. Supervisors may also receive alerts to help them track worker behavior, Radiant told the outlet.

Ford is testing the safety procedure at factories where it’s producing ventilators and respirators to help combat the virus, which has infected more than 2 million people worldwide.

Representatives for Radiant didn't immediately return requests for comment from FOX Business.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS

The Associated Press contributed to this report.