Singapore is Handing Out Bluetooth COVID-19 Trackers For Seniors Without Smartphones

Published on July 1, 2020

It’s 2020 and today, most people on earth have smartphones. There is, however, a dwindling elderly population that has either refused or has simply been unable to acclimate to this new world. Some countries have been trying to use the pervasive devices to track contact between COVID-19 patience and uninfected public. To help bring that functionality to seniors without phones, the Singaporean government is distributing Bluetooth tags called ‘TraceTogether tokens’. The devices can communicate with each other and phones that have the TraceTogether app installed. This initiative is designed to help to keep track of who has come into contact with the virus, even if they don’t have a phone for some reason.

Image Credit: [TraceTogether]

Priority will be given to those who have mobility problems and less family support than others. As more of these tokens are manufactured, they will be distributed to a wider range of seniors. If someone who possesses one of these tags comes into contact with someone with coronavirus, a contact tracing officer will contact the user to let them know that they need to be tested. Then, If a healthcare provider comes to the determination that the person became infected, data will be provided from the device to give more insight into who the person got the virus from.

TraceTogether tokens lack cellular, GPS, and WiFi capabilities. This choice was made to satisfy those that are up to no good and obsessed with privacy (they are generally the same group of people). Another limitation imposed by ‘privacy’ advocates is the tag’s ability to only store 25 days worth of data.

We hope that these devices help seniors stay uninfected and receive help quickly if needed. Hopefully, the tracking system is able to make any impact at all, given its privacy-focused limitations.

Can Bluetooth be Used For Tracking?

No. Not on its own. Bluetooth is a short-range wireless communications link that has a maximum range of only about 33 feet. Bluetooth has to be combined with other technologies to be able to perform any kind of tracking.

Featured Image Credit: [TraceTogether]

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