KINETIC Donates Contact Tracing Patent for Public Use During Pandemic

Oct. 26, 2020
Contribution prioritizes the acceleration of innovative solutions to protect essential workers from Covid-19.

KINETIC, the company providing wearable technology that fosters safe environments for the industrial workforce, has been issued a broad patent for using a wearable device to perform contact tracing and proximity alerts by the U.S. Patent office. The company is opening the patent for free public domain use during the Covid-19 pandemic through the Open Covid Pledge. KINETIC was awarded the patent for its system and method for monitoring safety and productivity of physical tasks (patent number 10,772,538, issued 9/15/20).

KINETIC’s patent addresses two of the primary challenges that impact essential workers’ exposure to Covid-19:

  • Proximity Alerts — The reduction of close contacts through social distancing is an important part of reducing essential workers’ exposure to the virus. However, inside an industrial facility such as a factory, warehouse or school, the practice of social distancing is often difficult and disruptive. KINTEIC’s patent covers methods to calculate when workers come into close contact with each other and to provide an alert to create awareness that social distancing is not being practiced.
  • Contact Tracing — Should a worker, student or employee test positive for the virus, isolating those people who had close contact for more than 15 minutes is a key containment strategy to reduce the risk of viral spread. KINETIC’s patent covers methods to provide a contact tracing report by logging all contacts that happen between workers.

“This pandemic has changed our everyday lives in very profound ways and has put essential workers, who are performing their jobs in spite of fears of contagion, at risk,” said Haytham Elhawary, KINETIC co-founder and CEO. “In times like this, it is not business as usual, and we want to lead by example by openly pledging our intellectual property so that others can bring products to market to protect our essential workers.”

Understanding the immense toll Covid-19 continues to take on the lives of so many people, KINETIC chose to open the use of its patent for the duration of the pandemic. The company’s hope is that other organizations can use the technology to help provide solutions to keep essential workers safe. Rather than competitive enforcement of the patent, KINETIC’s leadership team is prioritizing working together to bring as many solutions to the market as possible to save more lives.

KINETIC’s Open Covid Pledge

KINETIC is making the patent available through The Open COVID Pledge, a project lead and stewarded by Creative Commons, the nonprofit that helps overcome legal obstacles to the sharing of knowledge and creativity to address the world’s pressing challenges. Open use of KINETIC’s intellectual property expires either at the end of the pandemic (when there is a vaccine) or no later than January 2023.

About the KINETIC Reflex

KINETIC’s flagship solution, the KINETIC Reflex, is a discrete, smart wearable that is worn on belts or waistbands of industrial workers. It automatically detects unsafe work postures and provides users with real-time feedback to reduce injuries and create better work habits. The technology was recently updated with this patented technology to add proximity alert features—enabling workers to practice proper social distancing and to help keep them safe during this pandemic.