Smartwatches, fitness bracelets, and other wearable devices can be included in the contact tracking system to contain the spread of COVID-19, already available for cell phones. The possibility was announced yesterday (18) by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), which wants to extend the reach of the tool.
The idea of the organization responsible for supervising the development of wireless technology standards is to expand the functioning of the tracking app, created by Google and Apple and which works via Bluetooth, to include groups of people not served by the system. The elderly and children are among the target audience of the initiative.
According to the SIG, the use of smartphones among primary school children and adults living in nursing homes is not very common, leaving them out of the notification system for possible exposure to the virus. But with the feature available for wearables, that would change. A child using a smartwatch, for example, could transfer data from the tool to their parents’ phones when they arrive from class.
A physics professor at the Technical University of Munich Elisa Resconi, leader of a research group to fight the disease, defends the idea of taking the resource to people whose cell phone use is not so widespread. “We believe that including wearable devices in an exposure notification system (ENS) would be a very effective method to extend its reach and support these important groups,” she said.
When it will be available?
The availability of the new coronavirus exposure tracking system on smart bands, smartwatches, and other wearables would depend on a Bluetooth update.
According to the SIG, about 130 companies associated with the agency are already working on defining a standardized method for adding support to gadgets, preserving user privacy.
The institution hopes to present a draft of the technology in the coming months.