Facedrive Contributing to VMware’s Open-Source Protocol to Stop the Spread of COVID-19

Facedrive contributing to Herald protocol
The TraceSCAN wearable allows tracing of other nearby participants and determines the distance between them. (Image: Facedrive Health)

Facedrive Health, the developer of TraceSCAN, is contributing to Herald – an open-source project developed by VMware – to Combat COVID-19. Herald is an open-source Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) based protocol developed for the reliable exchange of information between a range of mobile phones. Herald is being developed with the goal of providing more reliable Bluetooth Proximity Detection to improve digital exposure notification applications worldwide in order to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

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To further expedite the reach and interoperability of digital exposure notification through wearables, Herald is sharing its codebase—including Facedrive’s contributions—with Linux Foundation Public Health (LFPH.io). LFPH is a non-profit global community that builds, secures, and sustains open-source software to help public health authorities (PHAs) around the world combat COVID-19 and future epidemics. As more projects are contributed, LFPH will expand its scope into software support for all phases of PHA’s testing, tracing, and isolation activities, reports BusinessWire.

Herald delivers a set of features that enhance exposure notification at the inter-device communications level. Important features include 100% detection of phones in the foreground and background across iOS and Android devices, more frequent distance estimations enabling more accurate data capture and risk measurement over time. Perhaps most importantly, by providing a common packet header Herald allows for international interoperability amongst all contact tracing applications, whether designed for centralized or decentralized contact matching and risk scoring.

Herald protocol

TraceSCAN, Facedrive Health’s innovative exposure notification, and smart wearables solution, is powered by cutting-edge Bluetooth technology which enables the device to work as an independent wearable product or in conjunction with mobile-only solutions. Given Facedrive Health’s expertise in the development of wearable exposure notification devices, joining the Herald community and contributing to its development was a natural fit.

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“The Herald Protocol is an innovative and necessary foundational technology that can significantly improve the communications layer of the exposure notification application stack. Based on our experience in building TraceSCAN, we are pleased to be involved in the community development of Herald, alongside VMware and other partners,” said Sayan Navaratnam, Chairman and CEO of Facedrive. “Herald has the potential to significantly improve the range and accuracy of COVID-19 related applications and to enable universal interoperability across technology silos in Canada and internationally. This type of global connectivity is critical because the larger an exposure notification network becomes, the more effective it is at detecting and halting the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases,” added Navaratnam.

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Sam Draper
Sam Draper () is Online Editor at WT | Wearable Technologies specialized in the field of sports and fitness but also passionated about any new lifestyle gadget on the market. Sam can be contacted at press(at)wearable-technologies.com.