PolyU researchers developed bluetooth tracing app

Researchers at Polytechnic University say they have developed a contact tracing app using Bluetooth technology and the global navigation satellite system, which can automatically record people’s movement and hopefully keep Covid-19 infections low when borders reopen.

They say unlike the government’s LeaveHomeSafe app, users don’t have to scan any QR codes.

Charles Wong, a professor from the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics’ team, added privacy concerns have been addressed when they design the app.

He said all information would only be stored in the user’s phone unless he or she agrees to share it.

“Unless we receive the approval from the app user, the government or others cannot receive the information,” added Wong.

The team said during a press conference on Wednesday that if inbound travel resumes to pre-pandemic levels and there’s no more mandatory quarantine and social distancing curbs, Hong Kong could see an average of more than 1,100 coronavirus infections a day.

But they said their calculation showed that with effective contact tracing, the daily infection figure could be lowered to about 170.

The projections are based on the scenario of the city’s vaccination rate staying at the current level of about 50 percent and people keeping their face mask habit.