- Tram Ho
Even though Apple and Google, the two companies that hold the world’s two largest smartphone platforms, have teamed up to create a tracking system to detect users who have been exposed to a positive person with a virus. corona or not, billions of people in this world may not be using that technology.
According to the report’s researchers, this figure includes the poor and the elderly – those who are most at risk of corona virus infection. This shows the ” digital divide ” in a system designed to reach as many people as possible, while maintaining the privacy of each person.
The number of used smartphones or basic phones in use in the world is not small.
Currently Apple’s iPhones and Google Android devices are currently used by about 3.5 billion people worldwide. This brings a huge network to track sick people.
However, their solution relies on special wireless chips and software, which didn’t appear on hundreds of millions of smartphones launched five years ago and is still being used every day.
” The limitation of the underlying technology is due to the fact that many phones are still using without the necessary Bluetooth technology or the latest operating system .” Ben Wood, analyst at CCS Insight said. ” If you are in an unfavorable area and only have an old or basic phone, you will not enjoy the advantages that this application can bring .”
Public health agencies are being asked to integrate these Silicon Valley companies’ technologies into their own applications, to notify people if they have been exposed to the infected person at the same time. remind them to isolate themselves at home. The more people use this application, the more successful the system will be.
This technology uses low-power Bluetooth chips to recognize the proximity of surrounding devices without consuming too much battery capacity. However, according to Counterpoint Research, this type of chip is not present in about a quarter of smartphones being used every day globally. About 1.5 billion others are still using basic phones, not running iOS or Android at all.
“A total of about 2 billion people (mobile users) will not benefit from this global initiative .” Neil Shah, a Counterpoint analyst said. ” And most of these users with incompatible devices come from low-income areas or from the elderly, who are most vulnerable to viruses .”
While smartphones have become popular all over the world, software and hardware compatibility factors can make the effectiveness of this tracking technology solution very different for each region, every country.
Counterpoint Research estimates that, in developed markets like the US, UK and Japan, about 88% of devices are compatible with Apple and Google technology, while only about half of Indian users have get the necessary equipment.
Refer to ArsTechnica
Source : Genk