Current smartphone-based exposure notification systems (ENS) just like the one created collectively by Apple and Google are a intelligent approach of leveraging trendy expertise to assist complete contact-tracing efforts by well being companies worldwide. But the COVID-19 pandemic is just not what anybody had in thoughts when the Bluetooth customary was created, so the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) is working to create a brand new specification that will enable wearable gadgets to work in tandem with smartphones to increase the attain of ENS tech.
That would imply that gadgets like wrist-worn smartwatches and exercise/well being trackers might additionally take part in systems that monitor potential exposure and supply notifications about potential COVID-19 contact occasions. It could seem to be a small tweak when you assume that the majority smartphone customers are seldom with out these gadgets, however Bluetooth SIG factors out that increasing to wearables might assist include teams of people that aren’t usually smartphone customers — together with younger, school-aged youngsters, and older adults in care services — in ENS efforts.
You might simply see how that will be helpful, as soon as this new spec is accomplished and integrated into deployed Bluetooth requirements. Schools might potential mandate use of easy, low-cost Bluetooth-enabled wearables to monitor potential exposure as they return to bodily classroom schooling, as an illustration.
It’s too early to say precisely how and when this will likely be deployed — the Bluetooth SIG says that it plans to have an preliminary draft of the brand new spec obtainable “in the next few months” for its members to evaluation. But the group has highly effective members, together with Apple, Microsoft, Intel and others, and the expertise proposed would enable Apple and Google to incorporate wearables into their current exposure notification platform, whereas preserving the privacy-protecting elements of the tech, as illustrated in the infographic beneath.