So far we have talked about the importance of smartphones as a way to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, but now we are starting to think about wearables. The Bluetooth SIG, the consortium that develops the protocol and certifies the devices in which it is present, has begun to develop the specifications to make this idea possible, saying that the "smartphone only" approach adopted so far is not practical for everyone.
It is easy to imagine at least one scenario in which it is more and more frequent that in everyday life the phone is left at home in favor of the smartwatch, or when doing outdoor sports; but an example is also given of types of people who almost never have smartphones, such as children at school or the elderly.
The concept is quite similar to the service created by Apple and Google for smartphones. Bluetooth keeps an anonymized log of all devices that have been in its vicinity for more than a few minutes. If their owners test positive for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, an alert notification is received so that they can run for cover – request a test, be more careful in interpersonal relationships, and so on.
The idea is interesting because you could also build a specific wearable for this need, at absolutely cheap prices and easily distributable to those groups of people who need help in monitoring their exposure to the virus. The problem is that it may still take months before the specification is finalized, and then still more time has to pass for it to materially arrive on devices. However, already 130 companies in the consortium are working to make the project a reality.
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