Ford Motor Company wants to see its currently idle factories buzzing—literally. According to a report by Bloomberg, the Blue Oval and the United Auto Workers union are working with a dozen employees at its Plymouth, Michigan, plant to test wearable wristbands that buzz when within six feet of one another. The goal? To encourage social distancing among those who return to work in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
While its Plymouth plant is still down, Ford is reportedly experimenting with its trick wristbands among a dozen employees. A wider test of the wearable tech will likely need to wait until the plant fully reopens. It’s still unclear when that will officially happen, though. We reached out to the company for more information, but have yet to hear back from a representative.
Wristbands won’t be the only thing Ford factory workers may be subject to wearing once production eventually resumes. Bloomberg also notes that the Blue Oval will provide employees with masks and, if necessary, plastic face shields. The company is also expected to employ thermal-imaging scanning to take the body temperatures of those entering its facilities. A fever is a common symptom of those infected with the contagious virus, which causes the disease known as COVID-19.
These are far from the only steps Ford’s taken to battle COVID-19, too. The automaker’s currently working with the likes of 3M and General Electric to develop and increase the manufacturing capacity of much-needed items such as face masks, powered air-purifying respirators, and ventilators.
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