Code vs. Corona: Volunteers and developers from Slovakia are offering everyone Covid-19 app for free as open-source software

23. 03. 2020

The volunteers from Sygic and other technology companies have developed a mobile application, which aims to slow down the spread of the novel coronavirus. The technology uses GPS and Bluetooth sensors to determine if the user came into contact with an infected person in the last 14 days.

The volunteers from global navigation vendor Sygic and other leading technology companies have developed mobile applications, which aims to slow down the spread of novel coronavirus. The novelty uses GPS and Bluetooth sensors to determine if the user came in the last 14 days into contact with the infected person.

The application Covid-19 for mobile phones with operating system iOS and Android uses GPS and Bluetooth sensors to recognize the contact with the infected person even in the enclosed spaces and can anonymously reverse-trace initial infection before the symptoms occur.

The developers who participated in this project have used their long experience from embedding the smartphone sensors so the app will accurately detect personal contact. It is achieved by the utilization of not only the GPS sensor but also Bluetooth.

Bluetooth is the perfect technology to map close encounters of people in buildings, subways, buses, supermarkets, offices, or even on the specific floor or other closed quarters.

„GPS is reliable outside, but the majority of people are infected inside. Bluetooth solves this deficiency. GPS can be used by individual countries to detect individual outbreaks better. This is the reason why we combine both sensors,” said Michal Stencl, member of the board at Sygic.

By incorporating advanced algorithms, the application is capable of preventing false indications and preventing unnecessary panic. The volunteers are offering the technology to all countries and released the source code on GitHub.

„We believe that all systems should be under the control of every single state,“ explained Stencl.

„The application is free for everyone because we believe that technologies might help countries to cope with global pandemics. This is the reason why we have decided to share the code with other countries, and we are also in contact with World Health Organization (WHO), so we can use the time to slow down the infection given to us by China and Italy. It is imperative to all of us to work together as one country, ethnicity, profession or age,“ added Stencl.