Rival tech giants Apple and Google join hands to beat Novel Coronavirus
Rival smartphone software firms, Apple and Google, have decided to come together to accelerate usage of apps that would help potentially Covid-19 infected individuals to move into quarantine and get themselves tested more quickly. Under this joint venture that was announced on Friday, the two tech giants will collaborate on a ‘contact tracing’ system using the the Bluetooth low energy technology built into modern day smartphones that can identify people in contact with coronavirus positive cases and alert the users.
The joint blog post by the companies read, “Software developers are contributing by crafting technical tools to help combat the virus and save lives. In this spirit of collaboration, Google and Apple are announcing a joint effort to enable the use of Bluetooth technology to help governments and health agencies reduce the spread of the virus, with user privacy and security central to the design.”
The companies said that they started work on developing the technology two weeks ago and the first step was to streamline the technical differences between Apple's iPhones and Google's Android. Once the technology was developed, Apple and Android operating system would be able to exchange information with a joint ‘opt in system’.
The new technology would require millions of people to trust the companies’ safeguards and opt in the system. The operating systems of these two tech giants power 99% of the world's smartphones. According to the health experts if the tracing is successful, it would play a vital role in managing the virus once lockdown orders end.