Bluetooth

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By Dave Muoio 02:43 pm October 8, 2020
A new proof-of-concept machine learning system outlined in npj digital medicine could provide Bluetooth-based contact tracing tools with the means to quantify the risk of coronavirus transmission when device owners are in close proximity. The approach, researchers from the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute in Berlin write, measures whether the received signal strength of a second party's...
By Dave Muoio 03:14 pm September 1, 2020
Apple and Google are refining their COVID-19 contact tracing framework to fast-track enrollment and, for Apple device owners, completely forego the need to download a separate app, representatives of the companies announced today. Launched today on iPhones with the iOS 13.7 update, "Exposure Notifications Express" sends device owners in participating states a push notification with the option to...
By Tammy Lovell 05:12 am August 19, 2020
Work is underway to create a specification which would enable wearable devices to utilise COVID-19 contact tracing technology. More than 130 Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) member companies have joined a working group, which aims to define a standardised method to add wearables to the existing smartphone-based Exposure Notification System (ENS), while preserving privacy and security...
By Dave Muoio 04:38 pm July 31, 2020
Google has posted an update on Exposure Notifications – their system-level framework for COVID-19 contact tracing developed in tandem with Apple – revealing that the tools have been incorporated into digital contact-tracing apps launched in 16 countries. Further, 20 U.S. states and territories are "exploring apps" based on the system, according to Google, the first set of which are expected to go...
By Dave Muoio 02:52 pm July 21, 2020
Despite very public messaging that the Bluetooth contact-tracing tools for COVID-19 developed by Google and Apple would not track users' locations, its implementation within Android operating systems still collects GPS data that Google could use to determine the user's location, The New York Times reports. The issue is driven by the operating system's device location setting, which must be...

Photo credit: Christine Daniloff, MIT

By Dave Muoio 03:13 pm April 9, 2020
A research effort based out of MIT is looking to individuals' smartphones as tools for automatic COVID-19 contact tracing, but it's taking a unique approach that doesn't log GPS data or other potentially identifying information. Rather, the multi-organization Private Automatic Contact Tracing (PACT) team is turning to smartphones' Bluetooth functionality – or more specifically, the short-range...
By Dave Muoio 11:56 am March 4, 2020
The FDA is warning of new cybersecurity vulnerabilities affecting Bluetooth Low Energy communications technology used in certain medical devices. According to the agency, the issue could allow unauthorized users to wirelessly crash a device, prevent it from working or access functions limited to its users. The FDA says the vulnerabilities – referred to as "SweynTooth" by the researchers who...

Photo credit: Business Wire

By Laura Lovett 03:33 pm September 3, 2019
With a focus on hearing accessibility, Google has teamed up with Cochlear and GN Hearing to launch a new service that uses Bluetooth Low Energy to stream content from Android devices directly to hearing aids.  Customers will be able to use their hearing aids to tap into the audio from their Android device. The technology was developed with a particular emphasis on preserving battery life for...
By Jonah Comstock 02:42 pm July 5, 2017
At least three digital health companies are poised to take advantage of native Bluetooth on the Apple Watch, announced at the company’s WWDC keynote last month. In addition to Dexcom (which was announced on stage), Apple Watch apps are also either deployed or in the works from both respiratory health company Propeller Health and ReSound, a connected hearing aid company. “New for this year, we're...
By Jonah Comstock 01:43 pm September 8, 2016
The rumors were true. Apple is ditching the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 in favor of headphones that connect via the lightning adapter or wirelessly via Bluetooth. The company argues that the headphone jack is ancient technology whose time has come and that omitting it allows for a thinner and more waterproof device. Critics are upset that they won't be able to use their existing headphones...