Weekly Bluetooth Industry Report [April 24, 2020]

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

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Nodle Launches Coalition, a Free, Privacy-First Contact Tracing App to Help Stop The Spread of COVID-19
The team behind Nodle.io, an Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity and security startup, today announces the launch of Coalition, a free, privacy-first contact tracing app to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Coalition aims to be an essential preventive tool to protect communities and global citizens during the current COVID-19 crisis. Coalition is now available for Android in the Google Play Store and pending release for iOS in the App Store.

Coronavirus: UK contact-tracing app raises privacy concerns
The UK is considering the launch of a contact-tracing app to help restrict the spread of coronavirus – a development that could have serious implications for the privacy and security of the country’s citizens. The initiative will involve cooperation between the country’s National Health Service (NHS) and “the world’s leading tech companies”, according to health secretary Matt Hancock, who made the announcement during the UK government’s daily pandemic update briefing on April 12.

COVID-19 could have its own PATRIOT Act, but we need privacy guarantees
With COVID-19 infections climbing in the U.S., officials are desperate for ways to track and control the spread, especially with limited testing available.
Google and Apple announced a joint effort last Friday to create a voluntary anonymous contact tracing network enabled by Android and iOS that would monitor the spread of infections by keeping track of people who are infected and those with whom they come into contact.

If Bluetooth doesn’t work for contact-tracing apps, what will?
Last week, Apple and Google announced that they would be joining forces to create a tool that will assist public health authorities in creating contact tracing apps to help stop the spread of Covid-19. These apps, one of which is currently being developed by NHSX – the digital innovation arm of the NHS – will work by notifying someone if they have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for the disease.

How would the Australian “COVID trace” mobile app track you?
The Australia Government right now is working on building a mobile app for iOS and Android that Australians will be asked to install on their phones.
The privacy concerns are obvious, but I think it’s interesting to consider how the technology could be pieced together to make this work and actually save lives and our economy at the same time.

Baseline Developers Propose DTL-Based Coronavirus Contact Tracing
Developers working on Baseline, an enterprise smart contract and tokenization platform developed by Microsoft, Ernst & Young, and ConsenSys, are working to solve several flaws identified with Apple and Google’s proposal for coronavirus tracking initiatives. Google and Apple propose a contact tracing solution that would add cross-platform APIs that allow health authorities to monitor users. Both brands have discussed rolling out related software updates next month.

There are many reasons why covid-19 contact-tracing apps may not work
As countries search for ways to exit lockdown and avoid or manage a second wave of covid-19 cases, many have turned to the promise held by contact-tracing apps. In a rare display of collaboration, Apple and Google recently joined forces to help the technology work effectively. Such apps look attractive to countries looking to lift restrictions, but there is growing evidence that it will be difficult to make them work.

Who Benefits from Contact-Tracing Apps?
Last week, Apple and Google announced a partnership to develop a contact tracing system that uses Bluetooth Low Energy transmissions between iPhones and Google Android phones to detect users in close-range of one another. If a person tests positive for COVID-19, he or she can use an app to notify public health officials, who in turn can alert others with smartphones that have been near the infected person in the past two weeks.

Multi-hop mesh network tech for Covid-19 contact apps
Mesh network technology could provide a key capability for contact tracing apps that are currently being developed. Developer Wyld Networks is talking to the UK’s NHS about how Bluetooth technology can be included in these applications that will be able to flag if a user comes within a few metres of someone with the Covid-19 virus. Apple and Google are currently developing a common API for Bluetooth that works across both iPhone and Android smartphones. This will be available by the middle of May, say the companies.

Coronavirus: Why are there doubts over contact-tracing apps?
There are growing tensions over the best approach to coronavirus contact-tracing apps and whether or not the technology can live up to its promise.
Smartphone software is being developed to alert users when someone they were recently near becomes infected. But the Ada Lovelace Institute has said there is “an absence of evidence” such tools are practical, accurate or technically capable.

Securing PLCs for the IoT: Selecting the Right Hardware
Internet of Things (IoT) consultant Christofer Dutz has been hard at work building open-source protocol adapters to secure IoT communications with industrial PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers) — the computers at the heart of industrial automation applications since the 1970s. As Dutz — who has been heavily involved in several Apache Software Foundation projects since 2012 — including Apache MyNewt (a lightweight operating system for IoT devices) and Apache PLC4X (a set of libraries for communicating with PLCs using a shared API) — admits, the task is not straightforward.

World’s Smallest Smart Thermometer in Use in Nanjing Quarantines
A number of residential communities in Nanjing have adopted the use of the world’s smallest smart thermometer to help monitor those self isolating at home. With health authorities instantly in the know when a subject’s temperature changes, the technology is nothing short of a life saver. The patient need only wear a patch the size of a postage stamp. Data from the patch is transmitted using Bluetooth Low Energy to the cloud, from where it is accessed by mobile app.

Bluetooth Empowering Connectivity
As today’s manufacturing environments increasingly depend on digital capabilities, enabling seamless – and often wireless – connectivity plays an instrumental role. And, the growing use artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles and robots as well as expansive growth of IoT networks only intensifies the need for stronger and more dependable connectivity.

Lockdown endgame? There won’t be one until the West figures out its approach to contact-tracing apps
Most health experts agree stopping the coronavirus lockdown requires two things – testing and tracking – and you cannot have one without another. First, you need to know who is infected with COVID-19. Then you need to figure out who they’ve had contact with so they can be isolated. This isn’t inherently novel. It’s a tactic that’s long been used by epidemiologists, and was featured in the (eerily prophetic) Matt Damon flick Contagion.

Enhancing safety with mobile solutions
Modern production facilities constantly exchange data. This flood of data is usually managed by central controls. However, for comprehensive and timely monitoring of processes, data must be available closer to the process and more directly – preferably in real time and with low latency. Modern, intrinsically safe smartphones and tablets can serve as decentralised mini data centers or digital gateways, for example in combination with professional software, sensors, beacons or other smart peripheral devices.

Lessons We Can Learn From Military IoT Design
There are some things the military does well, and some that it does not. The stereotype is that military and aerospace projects are hugely expensive, glacially slow, and produce unwieldy hardware-dependent systems that have extremely limited application. But when it comes to the IoT, that stereotype is not true. In reality, developers of consumer-level IoT devices can learn a lot from the way that the military (and particularly the US military) has approached the development of the Military Internet of Things (MIoT).

COVID-19 Bluetooth Solutions Index
In the past two weeks, I’ve been working on a BLE solution as part of a joint effort team in Israel, for the ministry of health.
During those two weeks, I witnessed enormous efforts of technology companies, universities, and technology enthusiasts all trying to stop the COVID-19 epidemic spreading.

The frontline of the fight against Covid? There’s an app for that
Ireland’s fight against the spread of Covid-19 is stepping up a gear, and it seems that technology will play its part. At the end of March, the HSE said it was planning a contact tracing app to help reduce the spread of coronavirus in Ireland, following the lead of countries including South Korea, the UK and Germany.

Sonim and IASUS Concepts Team Up to Launch Advanced and Customizable, Wireless and Wired Throat Microphones for XP8 and XP5s
Sonim Technologies (Nasdaq: SONM) and IASUS Concepts have teamed up to provide public safety and frontline workers battling COVID-19 with a complete hands-free communications experience on Sonim’s XP8 and XP5s handsets. “With the increased use of PPE in public safety and healthcare due to COVID-19, hands-free communications solutions are essential to help frontline workers make it through the day,” said Tom Wilkinson, CEO, Sonim Technologies.

Vacancy: Hotels are using this time to rethink tech infrastructure
Now, months into lockdown, the global coronavirus pandemic continues to take its toll on populations and economies around the globe. The hospitality industry in particular has acutely felt the seismic reverberations of this global standstill. With flights grounded and cancellations abound, the sector as a whole is on the ropes. In one top market, hotels have seen occupancy decreased by more than 90%, based on recent data from STR.

Estimote launch Covid-19 workplace safety wearables to help safeguard essential workers by enabling rapid contact tracing of symptomatic employees
Nordic Semiconductor today announces that long-standing customer Estimote is using Nordic’s nRF52840 Bluetooth® LE Systems-on-Chip (SoCs) at the heart of a brand new range of workplace safety wearables Estimote specifically developed to help protect essential workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tetherless Masimo pulse oximeter can be used to monitor Covid-19 patients at home
Nordic Semiconductor today reveals that it has been doing everything it can to pull on available inventory from its global distributor network to meet an increase in demand for its high-end Bluetooth® System-on-Chip (SoC). This sits at the heart of an industry-leading, battery-powered wireless pulse oximeter, the Radius PPG™, that was launched last year by leading U.S. medical technology and device company, Masimo, and is now set to join the front-line battle against Covid-19 as part of Masimo’s SafetyNet™ solution.

Bluetooth 5.2/Bluetooth LE barcode reader and inductive charging station enable point-of-care efficiency and safety in hospitals
Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Code Corporation, a Murray, UT-based developer of image-based barcode reading systems, has selected Nordic’s nRF52832 Bluetooth® 5.2/Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) System-on-Chip (SoC) and nRF52840 Bluetooth 5.2/Bluetooth LE advanced multiprotocol SoC to provide the wireless connectivity and processing power for its ‘Code Reader 2700’ (CR2700) barcode reader and ‘Bluetooth Inductive Charging Station’ respectively. 

Bluetooth LE wearable helps consumers make healthier food choices based on their unique DNA
Nordic Semiconductor today announces that London, U.K.-based DnaNudge, has selected Insight SiP’s ‘ISP1507-AX’ RF module integrating Nordic’s nRF52832 Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) System-on-Chip (SoC), to provide the wireless connectivity and processing power for its ‘DnaBand’. The wrist-worn DnaBand enables users to make food choices suitably aligned with their unique DNA, as well as monitoring activity levels.

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