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TURNTHETIDE Apr 30, 2020

Turning the tide: Maggy helps respect social distancing in the 1.5-metre economy

Jana Wuyts

Maggy is a small portable device that makes a warning sound when you are about to get too close to other people. It enables people to respect social distancing measures without infringing privacy. It is the first device on the market that is both affordable and safe.

A number of Belgian entrepreneurs put their heads together to come up with a technological solution to the question of how we can all go back to work safely after quarantine. With Maggy, Allan Segebarth, Bart Embrechts, Nicolas Van Odijk and Ruben Miessen have managed to develop an affordable and reliable device in less than a week that helps people respect social distancing. Several leading Belgian companies and multinationals have already shown interest in the device.


‘Companies and governments are looking for ways to resume life safely,’ says Allan Segebarth. ‘With Maggy, we can offer them a safe, reliable and affordable solution.’ Privacy is paramount, Segebarth stresses. ‘You don’t need to register to use Maggy. No user data is stored. Simply give the device to employees or visitors, that’s all it takes.’

Maggy works out of the box, is energy efficient and accurate. It fits in your pocket or you can wear it on a lanyard. It vibrates and makes a warning sound when people get too close to each other. The battery is rechargeable and lasts for up to five days between charges.


Bluetooth 5.2

Ruben Miessen is the mastermind behind Maggy. ‘The device runs on Bluetooth 5.2,’ says Miessen. ‘Unlike previous versions, this new standard is accurate up to an impressive 10 centimetres.’ Bluetooth 5.2 has only been on the market since January 2020.

Initially, Maggy is targeted at the professional user. The device allows employees to maintain a safe distance from other people in the office. But museums and zoos could also lend a device to visitors for the duration of their visit. In the future, private individuals will also be able to use Maggy.

Through Gumption Group, Bart Embrechts and Nicolas Van Odijk regularly invest in strong, innovative ideas. ‘This is the first time that we have taken an idea to market this quickly, but the situation requires it,’ says Embrechts. ‘Until now, we have relied on people’s ability to gauge they are keeping the right distance. That’s fine, but once we see each other again on a daily basis in the 1.5-metre economy, it would be handy to get a little help from technology.’

Maggy platform
With Maggy, we offer a safe, reliable and affordable solution. Privacy is paramount. You don’t need to register to use Maggy. No user data is stored. Simply give the device to employees or visitors, that’s all it takes.

As for why the device is called Maggy, it was named after the Belgian Minister of Health Maggie De Block. ‘Her warning Blijf in uw kot (“stay home”) is etched in the collective memory,’ says Embrechts. ‘In contrast, our Maggy helps people leave their homes again. The name also refers to the magnets in the logo. People are attracted to each other and Maggy ensures that we can all see each other again soon as safely as possible.’

From mid-May onwards, the devices can be supplied in large quantities.

Maggy was featured in De Morgen, Radio 2, ATV, Metro, HLN, Made in Antwerpen, Value Chain, Het Nieuwsblad, De Tijd, DataNews, LeVif, DHnet, Paperjam, EngineeringNet and Gazet van Antwerpen.

Contact Maggy at www.maggylife.eu

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Download the press release in English, Dutch or French.

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