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COVID 19: IIM Kozhikode incubatee startup led by woman entrepreneur develops wearable gadget for implementing social distancing norms

COVID 19: IIM Kozhikode incubatee startup

With alarms setting off as the country continues to register a spike in the number of persons contracting coronavirus amidst the attempt to unlock businesses and economy, social distancing at work becomes even more critical. Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode (IIMK) based incubatee start-up has come up with a unique user friendly wearable device that alarms proximity for helping implement social distancing norms. Known as the Veli Band, this wearable device has been developed by Qual5 India Pvt. Ltd, a startup co-founded by woman entrepreneur, mentored and funded by IIMK’s business incubator and entrepreneurship development center, LIVE.

Veli Band (pictures attached) helps implement social distancing and location/contact tracing which can help organizations comply with social distancing norms during the current pandemic situation. Veli Band momentarily vibrates, sounds buzzer, and flashes LED simultaneously to notify wearers that another band is within 3 feet (1 meter), reminding them of the need to maintain social distance. The device to be worn on the wrist can anonymously keep track of interactions with other devices and thus not only help in maintaining a safer workplace but also aid in tracking employee movements in real time. Veli band is omni directional, comes with a rechargeable battery and uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology for detection. The demonstration video of Veli Band is available on the link: https://youtu.be/HrwR6zHgwjo

Veli Band

Speaking on the development, Professor Debashis Chatterjee, Director, IIM Kozhikode added “As of today, India is now the third most COVID-19 affected country in the world. It is apparent that we will have to live with these situations till there is an effective vaccine in the market. Businesses and organisations cannot remain stagnant with this uncertainty, they need to keep hustling. IIMK has always been at the forefront supporting women in business. Veli band is an example of women emerging not just as business leaders and founders but also as innovators, if appropriate opportunity and support is provided by institutions and society at large. ”

Prof.Keyoor Purani, Executive Director, Laboratory for Innovation, Venturing and Entrepreneurship (LIVE) at IIMK shared thatReal entrepreneurs quickly adapt to the changing market environment. Qual5, a woman-founded enterprise, has adapted their expertise of tracking warehouse inventories into a quick, marketable solution in the form of Veli band.” “The startup had also recently bagged Rs. 25 lakh funding under the MRPL IIMK LIVE Seed support assistance program and is one of the most promising technology startups in our portfolio”, he added.

Shedding further light on the other features of Veli Band, Ms Kiranmayee Mallepaddi & Mr Srinivasan Arumugam, co-founders at Qual5, shared that what makes Veli Band different from the other numerous app-based solutions available in the market, is that all other solutions have a drawback with not all levels of employees having access to mobiles at workplaces, and thereby in turn affects traceability.  “The device provides information on which bands/employees have violated the set norms, as this information can help in contact tracing if need be in COVID-19 positive scenarios. The data can also be used to monitor crowded areas to take necessary precautionary actions”, Kiranmayee added.

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