The problem we solve

The Covid19 pandemic hits us hard. On a human level the effects are tragic, both on the casualties to deplore and the destabilizing effect on people’s social lives. Obviously, the economy has taken a gigantic hit too. In order to rebuild our economy, we will need to adapt to a new reality. Rebuilding the economy as fast, efficient and safe as possible, is the best guarantee for the wellbeing and safety of future generations.

Governments all over Europe are, or will soon be, releasing the lock-down rules under strict conditions. To re-start economic and social activities safely, we will all at least need to respect social distancing for some time to come. According to the World Health Organisation, social distancing is the most effective way to slow down the spreading of infectious diseases. When restarting or rescaling their activities, organisations will need to install procedures and protocols to safely welcome employees and clients. Massively respecting social distancing will reduce the probability of outbreaks of the virus and will allow us to resume economic and social activities, until more structural health solutions are available.

How do we make sure social distancing is respected? How can companies, industrial sites, shops, museums, schools, public places, events… show their employees, clients and visitors that they take all precautions to provide a safe visit? Our wearable Maggy device solves this issue, by warning the carrier of the device when he or she is moving too close to someone else. The Maggy-device is a social distancing safeguarding device.

To be able to deploy this solution at scale, the Maggy-device needs to be :

  • Simple in usage
  • Privacy proof
  • Affordable
  • Non-discriminatory as to access to technology

For this reason, we have decided to build the Maggy-device from the ground up in bootstrapped MVP mode. Building a mobile app to solve the issue and does not match all above mentioned criteria. It's not simple in usage for everyone (elderly and very young children), it's prone to privacy issues and most importantly, not everyone has a smart phone or if they have one, they don't necessarily have Bluetooth activated. In the current situation, speed and focus are of the essence. The process from ideation to prototyping, including chip design, component selection, case design, manufacturer selection, contracting, marketing launch material and business plan, took us 7 days exactly.

The solution we bring to the table

Our solution is as simple as it is effective: use affordable and available technology to build a small, UX-friendly, privacy respecting device from the ground up, warning the users when they are too close to each other. The Maggy device has a long battery life so it can withstand a workweek without recharging. It is affordable, allowing corporations and associations or individuals to obtain the number of devices they ideally need. It is privacy proof as it does not require any registration nor stores personal identifiable information. It is simple in usage as it is fully functional out-of-the-box.

On a technology point of view, we are using the latest Bluetooth 5.2 protocol to measure the distance between two devices. When that distance is below a threshold, an audio alarm, vibration or light signal is triggered. Our PCB chip contains only the bare minimal components and our engineering team was challenged on designing the board and selecting the components as to minimise the overall device size.

The innovation and complexity is found in the way we use the technology, the mobile app to customise and activate the functionalities of the device and the web platform to provide usage insights, as well as the future proof programming of the PCB board, allowing to easily extend the software features of the mobile applications and the Maggy device if required by the market.

The value proposition allows for three approaches

  1. Maggy device only: out of the box, the Maggy device is pre-configured to only detect other devices. This allows it to be deployed quickly in organisations where everyone receives a Maggy device when entering the premises of the organisation. This use case is specifically useful for small and medium sized companies, shops, supermarkets, museums, cultural sites, friends and families. With Maggy, organizations can safely return their employees and visitors to their offices. Simply hand out a Maggy to employees and visitors entering the building and Maggy will ensure a safe social distance is kept.

  2. Maggy device + companion app : This allows the user to activate a function in the Maggy device allowing it to detect other Bluetooth device likes smartphones and smart watches. Within the app the user can mark other Bluetooth devices as ‘friendly’ excluding them from triggering an alarm. The app does not require registration and is only for configuring the Maggy device options. 

  3. Maggy device + companion app + web platform : For organisations there is a web platform allowing them to view aggregated reports, visualising the number of alarms triggered on organisation or department level. For this report view, the user needs to enter an organisation id in the app, so here too no personal registration is needed.

We use the Bluetooth 5.2 signal as a basis to measure the presence of other Bluetooth emitting devices. This latest protocol (5.2) was released in January 2020 and provides enough accuracy for this specific use case and also has the advantage of being cheaper and more energy efficient than other possible solutions.

What we have done during the weekend

  • Design and develop an MVP of a companion app
  • Design and develop an MVP of a webplatform
  • Design the casing for the Maggy device
  • 3D print the Maggy device casing prototype
  • Video shooting for EUvsVirus event
  • Editing for event and marketing website
  • Marketing Website
  • Branding (logo)
  • Define preliminary pricing and distribution partner strategy

The solution’s impact to the crisis

The ambition is to reduce the possibility for the virus to spread and to allow the safe restart and continuity of economic and social life.

Our Maggy device allows organisations to demonstrate to their stakeholders (employees, clients and governments) that they are taking appropriate measures to encourage and facilitate social distancing. With the (anonymous) reporting about the number of triggered alarms + the time-distribution of incidents, organisations can monitor when incident occur and can adapt procedures and instructions accordingly. It will allow business to kick start the economy again.

For individual users, using the Maggy device reduces stress and pressure caused by constantly being on the lookout for close encounters or forgetting to keep social distance. It allows citizens to reclaim social life in a safe way.

For museums, tourist attraction and events, it allows the re-opening of activities in a safe maner. It enables citizens to safely pick up recreational and cultural activities.

The necessities in order to continue the project

To continue the project we need:

  • Accelerate go to market:
    • Be part of a EU ‘COVID Solutions’- repository where governments and corporations can search or browse through proposed solutions.
    • Access to governments to make the case for including a privacy compliant social distancing safeguard device in their recommendations or regulation when releasing the lockdown-rules.
    • Access to governments to lead by example and distribute the device among the public servants and public services.
  • Activate Distribution
    • Gain access to potential distribution partners in the EU, responsible for distributing the Maggy-device in their region
  • Secure Manufacturing
    • Reduce reliance on single manufacturer
    • Ensure ex factory quality control
  • Optimize shipping cost
  • Extend management platform.
  • Access to short term loans to bridge the cash flow gap between the payment of the production cost and reception of the client payment.
  • Funding to accelerate the above
    • Currently we are bootstrapped and auto-funded.
    • Additional funding would allow to accelerate our go to market strategy and the speed at which we can extend the management platform.

The value of our solution(s) after the crisis

Hopefully we will never need our solution as designed today, once we can put this crisis behind us. In case of a new outbreak, we can from the start reactivate the social distancing protocol and save lives as from day 1 of the outbreak. We are convinced this will dramatically reduce the number of casualties.

Other use cases for our technology include:

  • Agriculture : Monitor livestock disease spreading. The same technology and platform could be used to monitor the spreading of diseases in livestock. In this use case, we eliminate the requirement of GDPR compliancy for the monitored subject (livestock) which can immediately allow contact tracing and isolation of infected animals. Other livestock movement could also be tracked when including beacons in the model, or actions could be automated (opening gates, activating feeding machines,…) when specific animals are detected. With the use of AI and by combining our device data with other agricultural data, we could predict the evolution of live stock health, automatically order consumables, optimise feeding patterns per animal,....

  • Industry: Detection of movements of men and machines on factory floors + use this data for optimal routing problems.

  • Marketing :

    • Monitoring the time people spend in front of store shelves (build Maggy device in or on shipping carts) or what path shoppers follow in store (use beacons to capture Maggy device signal in store).
    • Monitor the time people spend in stores by measuring their entry and exit times.

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