Apple and Google launched a major joint effort to leverage smartphone technology to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
New software the companies plan to add to phones would make it easier to use Bluetooth wireless technology to track down people for who may have been infected by coronavirus carriers. The idea is to help national or regional governments roll out apps for so-called “contact tracing” that will run on iPhones and Android phones alike.
The technology works by harnessing short-range Bluetooth signals. Using the Apple-Google technology, contact-tracing apps would gather a record of other phones with which they came into close proximity.
Such data can be used to alert others who might have been infected by known carriers of the novel coronavirus, although only in cases where the phones’ owners have installed the apps and agreed to share data with public-health authorities.