A Researcher Created A Website Highlighting What A Smartphone sees While Using Bluetooth And Discovered One Of The Biggest Challenges COVID-19 Tracking Technology Will Face

  • Claudio Guarnieri, an artist and security researcher created a website visualizing what a smartphone sees while the Bluetooth is turned on.
  • Apple and Google are creating a contact tracing technology to trace COVID-19 spread using Bluetooth instead of GPS location data.
  • The website created by Guarnieri discovered that using Bluetooth for tracing the spread of COVID-19 may also show false positives.

An artist and security researcher named Claudio "nex" Guarnieri featured a radar on a new website showing the visualization of how Bluetooth of various smartphones interact. It can be seen that radar displays a lot of blips in seconds replacing with new blips. This also revealed one of the biggest challenges tech giants will face while creating the new contact tracing technology to fight COVID-19 spread.

Currently Google and Apple have joined hands to create contact tracing technology to trace COVID-19 transmission. The new technology uses Bluetooth instead of GPS location data of users to alert the users whenever they come in close proximity to a COVID-19 patient. It is expected that the new contact tracing technology will be rolled out later this summer.

One of the hurdles in the creation of this technology is that Bluetooth also detects devices through walls or other bodies that may not transmit the virus. This leads to some miscalculations and, Google and Apple will have to create an accurate and widely adopted technology to make an effective COVID-19 tracing app.

Vice’s motherboard was the first to report Guarnieri’s website which shows a frantic radar powered by a Bluetooth beacon set up by Guarnieri. The radar visualizes smartphones and various other Bluetooth devices detecting more devices than Guarnieri expected within the range of beacon set up by Guarnieri.

We discovered that the radar shows dozens of devices made by Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, and various other manufacturers every minute and the radar displays a device in red if it is in exclusively close range.

Guarnieri kept the beacon inside his Berlin home and said that the contact tracing technology will consider false positives if Bluetooth technology is used.



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