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Device uses real-time audio cues to promote in-store social distancing

grocery shoppers with alarm sounding to back up.

A device that resembles a dome security camera is designed to heighten real-time awareness of social distancing in retail stores – especially in busy areas frequented by multiple shoppers.

SmartDome, from shopper engagement and loss prevention technologies provider Indyme, looks like the dome security cameras that are installed on the ceilings of many stores nationwide. But it operates much differently: Upon detecting people in the monitored area, it announces a message such as "For your safety, please maintain at least six feet of social distance."

The device can be installed by store staff since it is battery-operated, with no technician or wiring required. It can be mounted above areas where distancing reminders are most needed, such as checkouts, service counters, entrances, and busy departments.

"Our retail partners shared their health and safety challenges with us – we listened – and this simple and rapidly deployable solution promoting social distancing is the result,” said Joe Budano, CEO of Indyme, San Diego, Calif. “In situations where adding more people to the equation would only make matters worse, technology solutions like SmartDome can save lives."

Once pandemic fears subside, SmartDome can be repurposed to help reduce theft and increase customer engagement, contributing to store operations long after social distancing is no longer necessary, the company said.

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