Weekly Bluetooth Industry Report [April 10, 2020]

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April’s courses: Intro to Beacon Development,
BLE iOS App Development (with User Interface)

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France is officially working on ‘Stop Covid’ contact-tracing app
France’s health minister Olivier Véran and digital minister Cédric O have officially announced that the French government is working on a smartphone app to slow the spread of COVID-19. The government is putting a stamp of approval on the Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (PEPP-PT) project but remains cautious about what to expect from an app.

A new phone-tracing technology could tell if you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus — without sacrificing privacy. 130 researchers are offering it to countries for free.
The novel coronavirus excels at spreading because it’s contagious when there are few or no symptoms. That’s why governments are resorting to lockdowns, travel bans, and other economy-crippling restrictions. A team of 130 volunteer researchers just rolled out a technology framework that aims to help people return to work using an epidemiological principle called contact tracing.

SPHCC employs IoT tech and wearable sensors to monitor COVID-19 patients
At the end of January, MobiHealthNews reported that Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center (SPHCC), was using California-based connected health startup VivaLNK’s continuous temperature sensor to monitor COVID-19 patients, which reduces the risks of caregivers being exposed to the virus. SPHCC recently announced that they are using Bluetooth IoT products and solutions provider Cassia Network’s gateways, together with VivaLNK’s medical wearable sensors to monitor COVID-19 patients.

ProGlove Unveils Wearable Display Screen Scanner for the Retail Industry
ProGlove, the leader in ergonomic wearables for industry, is introducing the MARK Display wearable scanner and the ProGlove Cloud analytics solution to the retail, logistics, transportation and manufacturing industries. MARK Display brings essential information right where frontline workers in the supply chain need it most: to the back of their hand. MARK Display untethers workers from paper, hand-held devices, and static workstations while keeping crucial information with them always.

Internet of Payments: Looking into the Innovative Future
The year 2020 is when the digital-first generation becomes the leading force in the buyer market entering their top spending years. This year, generation Z is expected to make 40% of global consumers. As the face of the consumer market evolves, the industry has to tune-up. It is expected that the changes will influence three main areas: Currencies, Payment instruments, Business relations.

Newport Working Cities Collaborative launches app to connect North End
During this unprecedented time when accurate information is critical for families to sustain themselves in isolation, Newport Working Cities Collaborative, based at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Newport County, is launching the first pilot in the nation of a neighborhood communication application of the patented Bluetooth-enabled BUKI technology and smart phone application.

IoT in Agriculture and Farming
Agriculture is the primary source of food all over the world. It not only provides the food but raw materials for many industries and contribute significantly to the growth of GDP and economy of any country. It is also the main source of income in many countries. With the evolution of urbanization, weather change and increasing population, agriculture sector is facing many challenges. There is a strong need to increase the production per unit area. Traditional method farming have led to degradation of farms because of uncontrolled use of resources, fertilizers and pesticides.

Securing API to Protect Your Car-Key Apps
Now that apps on smartphones have become the mother of all digital commerce, companies are feverishly rolling out app-based products and services – digital car key apps and car-sharing services, for example — that promise consumers optimum convenience with minimum hassle. The only fly in the ointment is security. One way to combat the vulnerabilities now present in app-based digital car keys is to throw more hardware at the problem. Tech suppliers such as NXP Semiconductors are offering car OEMs automotive-qualified Secure Element and NFC chipsets, with plans for an extra layer of security in digital car keys by adding Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Ultra-Wide Band (UWB).

Google Pixel devices begin receiving April 2020 security update
Google today began pushing the April 2020 security update to its Pixel phones. In addition to the security patches they bring, these updates include a few functional bug fixes for Pixel phones. These include a fix for a memory leak that can prevent additional Bluetooth Low Energy connections and a fix for dropped Bluetooth audio input in calls, plus a fix for occasional lag when opening the keyboard in certain apps.

Apple accidentally mentions unreleased AirTag Bluetooth tracker in support video
It looks like Apple’s often-rumoured AirTag Bluetooth tracker actually exists. A now-deleted support video recently posted to the tech giant’s YouTube channel included a brief mention of the AirTag tracker, as first reported by Appleosophy. In the video, Apple mentions AirTags by name in a description related to the ‘Find My’ app’s offline finding functionality. As you may have already guessed, the video was swiftly deleted. “Offline finding enables this device and AirTags to be found when not connected to Wi-Fi or cellular,” read the text in the video.

Do not wait: Look at your IoT devices now
As millions of people become confined to their homes, the security of Internet of Things devices has never been so important, according to consulting firm Protiviti, who is warning people to not wait and to check their security. A recent flash report from Protiviti reveals that devices remain vulnerable, despite how commonplace they are. The report highlights a set of Bluetooth-related vulnerabilities that could lead to cyberattacks on thousands of IoT devices like deadlocks, crashes, buffer overflows and bypasses, which was recently discovered by researchers from the Singapore University of Technology and Design.

Free HCSS Trucking Software Eliminates Paper Truck Tickets at No Cost During COVID-19 Crisis
To keep the construction industry moving during COVID-19, HCSS is waiving the charge for its HCSS Trucking software. Companies who sign up for free HCSS Trucking can completely eliminate the handling and hassle of paper truck tickets at no cost through June 30. The solution, which provides less person-to-person contact and more effective tracking of loads and tons of material, such as asphalt, aggregates, and dirt, is perfect for companies that are trying to keep their people safe while improving their efficiency in this lean time.

Chocolate, Hazelnut Factories Automate Emergency Mustering With BLE
Sweets company Ferrero has deployed an automated solution to boost safety and the efficiency of its emergency responses without installing any hardware at its facility. The Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) solution, provided by technology provider Litum leverages an app, mobile phones and badges to identify when individuals report to a mustering site during an emergency or drill.

Blockchain’s Role in Battling the Novel Coronavirus
Blockchain is on the path to take a central role amid the instruments used to combat the novel coronavirus and defeat the pandemic. While this technology is already supporting our supply chains and validating information, it might also provide a solution for the trade-off between private data and public health care.

Radio frequency: An invisible espionage threat to enterprises
You can’t see it, but corporate airspaces are under attack via radio frequencies. Foreign governments, competitors and cyber criminals are all conducting radio-based attacks on enterprises. These sophisticated attacks use compromised RF devices as their entry points. Cell phones, wearables, health performance monitors and IoT infrastructure devices all offer new and unmonitored threat surfaces to launch attacks in order to gain access to company networks and secrets.

U of M develops app to track social distancing
On March 12, MBJ asked Santosh Kumar, director of the MD2K center for Excellence, if his team was doing research to combat the spreading coronavirus. A data center headquartered at the University of Memphis with funding from the National Institutes of Health, MD2K develops tools to gather, analyze, and interpret health data generated by mobile and wearable sensors. It seemed like work they might do, but they weren’t planning on it.
At the time, however, the situation wasn’t as dire — Shelby County had just confirmed its second coronavirus case. Yet, the virus spread rapidly.

Employers Face Shortages of Tech Gear as Coronavirus Forces Shipment Delays
Corporate technology leaders are facing shortages of laptops and other devices that have enabled the sudden shift to remote work amid the coronavirus pandemic. “The lead time to order new IT hardware keeps moving to the right, whether it’s employee laptops, networking gear, servers or otherwise,” International Business Machines Corp. Chief Information Officer Fletcher Previn said.

Coronavirus: Kiwi tech firm offers up Covid-19 app to government
A Christchurch tech firm says they’ve built a contact tracing and isolation app they are willing to offer the government – if they can persuade the Ministry of Health to give them an audience. Tom Riley, a director of OptiTrac, says his app is almost ready to go. He’s sent an 85-slide pitch to every MP to make the case for his app, 365Trac.

A trusted design path for IoT edge products
The solutions include connectivity devices and microcontrollers, software, tools and support, and capabilities from ecosystem partners to slash development complexity by solving critical IoT product design problems. Cypress’ IoT-AdvantEdge solutions include a unique portfolio of microcontrollers, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth/BLE devices that work in concert to support a broad range of IoT product requirements from battery-operated cameras to healthcare products. It integrates security and robust communication technologies and is used in many of the world’s most-sophisticated IoT products.

No Turning Back: Senior Living Finally Enters Digital Age as a Result of Covid-19
The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed how much the senior care industry lags in embracing technology for workforces and residents, and now providers are sprinting to implement solutions. As a result, technology providers are clocking huge surges in demand, with telehealth solutions and resident engagement/communication tools among the most sought-after products. This marks a jaw-dropping development for some tech companies, which for years have made incremental progress and now find themselves flooded with inquiries and requests.

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