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Wearable Plastic Enclosures For Social Distancing Electronics

Wearable enclosures for social distancing devices

Social Distancing Devices Are Not Just Proximity Sensors

Good social distancing devices do more than simply warn their wearers that they’re standing too close to each other. They can monitor employees’ heart rates and activity, providing an early warning of possible infection. They can also show health and safety compliance: behaviours can be tracked and logged, should disciplinary action be needed.

But all this depends on one key factor. The employees must be wearing the devices for the entire time they’re working. That means the unit should be so comfortable that they can pretty much forget they’re wearing it (without forgetting their social distancing obligations).

For that to happen, the electronics enclosure must be small, light and unobtrusive. It’s a given that any handheld enclosure must be more ergonomic than a wall-mounted or desktop housing because it will be in the user’s hands for extended periods. And by the same token, a plastic enclosure that is worn on the body must be even more comfortable because it will be in contact with the user for a very long time.

This is especially true if the device is used for social distancing: the wearer will have it on for their entire work shift. In the UK, workers have the right to 11 hours’ rest between working days – so they could be working for a long time each day. And even if they take just the minimum 20 minutes’ rest break each day, they could still be in close contact with other workers during that time. So the social distancing device must stay on all that time: there should be no reason to take it off.

What Makes An Enclosure Ideal For Social Distancing Electronics?

Versatility is a key consideration. Employees may be issued with identical devices but you can be sure they won’t all want to wear them the same way. Some may prefer a wristwatch-style device but if it’s heavy, then it can be cumbersome for those tapping at a keyboard all day. Others may prefer suspending the unit on a lanyard but that can be awkward or dangerous for those working at machines. Clipping the case to a belt is an option but you must be certain the clip is good or the user could lose the device. Ideally you want an enclosure that offers a whole host of wearability options – such as BODY-CASE.

Toughness and ingress protection are also extremely important. There’s a downside to a device being so comfortable that the user forgets they’re wearing it…they forget to take care of it. If they’re carrying it loose in a hip pocket they could sit on it, so it must be robust. And it has to stay that way – never underestimate the power of the Sun’s rays when it comes to weakening plastics. That’s why BODY-CASE is moulded from strong, UV-stable ASA and sealed to IP 65. And its easy-to-clean high-gloss finish and tamperproof Torx assembly screws (as standard) are vital for medical environments where infection-control protocols are at their most strict.

Furthermore, it helps if your preferred wearable enclosure is available in a range of sizes – because the smaller the enclosure, the less wriggle-room you will have when it comes to laying out the components. A few millimetres in plan size or depth can be crucial when you’re dealing with wristwatch-sized electronics.

Accessories for wearable enclosures

Accessories For Social Distancing Enclosures

Somehow your wearable device has to be powered. That means a battery. A quartz watch may be able to last three years on one button cell but a device with the power demands of a smartwatch will need recharging every 24-48 hours. So you’re going to need a base station for charging. And it should be suitable for induction charging – enabling you to save space because you won’t need connectors.

It makes sense if your ideal standard wearable enclosure also offers charging stations as standard too. Please note, that’s charging stations plural – because just as a good wearable enclosure should be available in multiple sizes, so there should also be a choice of base stations (and not just because of size).

One type of base station does not fit all requirements. If your user needs just a few devices, then a simple station capable of charging one unit may be all they need; each user has their own charger at their own workstation.

But what if the solution purchaser has a lot of employees and therefore a lot of devices to manage? What if their health and safety manager or dedicated social distancing manager needs to charge large numbers of units at the same time? This requires a completely different type of charger – a modular system that can be scaled up easily to cope with a wide range of user numbers. BODY-CASE offers this versatility: mountable single stations (in two sizes) and also the option of specifying open bases so multiple charging points can be fitted to a larger unit for charging in series.

Which Wearable Enclosure? Alternatives To BODY-CASE

BODY-CASE is our newest and most advanced wearable enclosure but we also offer other models:

MINITEC wearable enclosures for social distancing
  • Award-winning MINITEC offers a huge array of permutations as standard. Choose from two versions: teardrop-shaped D (recessed) and rectangular E (with/without recess). Each is available in three sizes and a range of mounting options. MINITEC can be fitted to a wrist strap, hung from a neck lanyard, attached to a belt (up to 35 mm wide, 4 mm thick), clipped to a key ring or carried loose.

    Every MINITEC case comprises a top and bottom section separated by a choice of intermediate rings; change the ring and you change the mounting option. Add to that a wide choice of standard colours and it’s very easy to specify the enclosure you want without needing to modify it (though customisation services are available if needed). The choice of standard materials also includes PMMA should infrared transparency be required.

ERGO-CASE enclosures for social distancing
  • Need a bigger housing? ERGO-CASE is our largest wearable enclosure: sizes range from 82 x 56 x 24 mm to 150 x 200 to 54/69 mm. But despite their size, these enclosures are still comfortable to wear thanks to their body-hugging curved shape. Mounting options include belt straps, belt/pocket clips, a wrist strap and neck lanyard.

    Unlike BODY-CASE and MINITEC, ERGO-CASE is large enough to have a battery compartment (2/4 x AA or 9V). Standard options also include a transparent front panel (size L) for larger graphics-capable displays.

Customised wearable enclosures

Customise Your Social Distancing Enclosures

All our enclosures can be supplied fully customised so they’re ready for your electronics. They can go from Goods In directly to your production line. So you don’t have to worry about machining, custom colours/finishes or printing/laser marking of logos and legends. We can do all that for you – even in low volumes. As your single-source enclosures partner, we take care of everything.

Customisation options include CNC machining, lacquering, printing, laser marking, decor foils, special materials, EMC shielding, installation/assembly of accessories, and partner solutions.

Further Reading:

Get Expert Technical Advice

Need further advice on the best wearable enclosures for your social distancing electronics? Contact OKW to find out more about standard and customised housings.

And don’t forget to request a sample.

View wearable enclosures range >>