Give me space: personal laser developed in Wales to help keep COVID at bay

Innovative technology promises to put a two meter ring around your personal space to help others socially distance

The item, developed by a Welsh company , is lightweight, battery-operated and designed to fit on a person’s hips.

If you are sick of getting crowded in supermarket aisles or hassled by joggers in the park, then how about buying your own laser?

The new device developed by engineers in Wales can be worn on the belt and it projects on the ground a curved line of two meters radius around the user’s feet.

“It makes it revolutionary because you are very aware of the fact that you will be infringing on somebody’s personal space,” says Adrian Harding, Business Development manager of AVoptics.

“You can see the circle projected on the floor in lights, so you will know whether you have crossed that boundary or not.”

What makes it different from the floor strips that are everywhere in supermarkets, restaurants and shops is that it is not fixed.

The lines projected will follow the movements of the person.

“By drawing a picture on the ground of a circle of two meters radius around the feet of the operative then you always know whether you’re getting too close to that person,” says Adrian.

“The point here is that you’re more likely to take notice of something that’s a projected lights line than just a mark on the floor.”

The device can also be used as a fixed installation to a workbench that projects a line around it to remind people approaching you if they get too close.

The laser will be powerful enough to be visible in environments where light levels change significantly but the power used will be completely eye-safe and in order to be distributed to a mass market it will be low cost, affordable, safety equipment.

AVoptics is now working with the Welsh Government to identify which companies in Wales may be interested in this kind of technology to send employees back to work.

“It is something that can be brought from Amazon for just few pounds,” says Adrian.

“The reality is that we have to live our lives, but we have to do it as safely as possible and that’s what this device helps you to do. It helps you to continue to go to work, and it helps you to continue to manufacture things but to do it safely and minimize the transmission of the disease,” says Adrian.