23 September 2020

RTLS Manages Social Distancing at the Pool

Nothingbutnet is providing a social-distancing-based premium version of its real-time location system for sports, as well as for offices or factories, that leverages Bluetooth Low Energy technology from Quuppa.

Sports technology company Nothingbutnet (NBN) has released a social-distancing solution that builds on the real-time location system (RTLS) it already offers for basketball (NBN23) and aquatics (Nagi Smartpool). The company’s new Soocial solution captures data and delivers content regarding the locations of swimmers or other athletes, as well as individuals in offices or factories, to boost safety during the COVID-19 crisis. All of NBN’s RTLS solutions leverage location data from Quuppa Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) sensors and tags to identify where individuals are located, and (in the case of Soocial) when they come within close contact and for how long.

The Dean & Barbara White Southlake YMCA, a branch of Crossroads YMCA located in Crown Point, Ind., has already been using NBN’s Nagi solution to capture location data regarding swimmers. The collected data can help swimmers monitor their own speed and other performance metrics. Later this year, the organization plans to launch the Soocial functionality as well, in order to provide an additional level of safety for its users, with social-distancing tracking. Headquartered in Spain, NBN was launched in 2014 and now offers three solutions: Nagi Smartpool for swimmers, NBN23 for basketball performance management and now Soocial for social distancing and contract tracing.

The NBN23 solution was aimed at tracking the movements of basketball players on a court, so as to provide teams, players and coaches with content regarding player performance, according to Ed Dvorak, NBN’s Nagi global general manager. In fact, the technology has been endorsed by the National Basketball Association (NBA) for use during practice sessions. In 2016, the Nagi solution was released for the aquatics environment to help manage swimmers internationally, and was released in the United States in 2019.

Each Nagi Smartpool deployment consists of a nagiTag with a built-in Quuppa transmitter worn by a swimmer, basketball player or other individual, as well as nagiLocators, also powered by Quuppa technology, installed above and around a pool or a court. The locators receive signals from the tags and the system uses Quuppa positioning server software to calculate each beacon tag’s location as it moves around an area. That location data is then forwarded to the cloud-based nagiServer, where the information is managed and alerts are generated. “Quuppa provides submeter accuracy in real time,” says Tom Ruth, Quuppa’s VP for the Americas.

Since NBN launched the Nagi technology for aquatics, Dvorak says, “It’s been growing ever since.” There are two applications, he explains: Nagi Guard for swimming safety and Nagi Go for tracking performance. Athletes can view their speed, as well as how many lengths they complete, and gamify that information by comparing it to swimming the English Channel, for instance. The safety version provides insurance benefits for operators, along with added security, by automatically identifying a problem based on a swimmer’s tag transmission. The Nagi Guard solution was first deployed by Spanish fitness club Gofit, and the company has since expanded globally. Last year, the technology was introduced in the United States.

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