A prominent entrepreneur is frustrated that an alternative to the troubled COVID-19 tracing app is stuck in limbo with officials.
Since March, Trade Me founder Sam Morgan has been working as part of a team to test the ability of ‘CovidCard’.
CovidCard is a low energy bluetooth device the size of a credit card, that is designed to be worn on a lanyard around the neck when in areas such as public transport, workplaces, bars, restaurants, gyms, hospitals, large gatherings and events.
It detects and records close contacts using bluetooth and stores this data securely on a person’s card for 21 days.
No contact data is automatically stored in the cloud or elsewhere and it does not track user location as the card does not contain GPS capability.
Morgan said apps overseas – which were even better than the COVID-19 Tracer app – had failed miserably.
“So the solution isn’t on a phone and in our consultation with iwi and Pasifika and so forth, they made it really clear to us that if you’re going to give [them] an app don’t expect all of [their] people to be able to use this and that is a fundamental equity issue,” he said.
“It is really important we can reach every New Zealander and no app is going to do that.”
Sam Morgan has been consistently ahead of the Government on this stuff. He pushed them into lockdown, when they were resistant, and he is right on the app also.