Coronavirus: UN social distancing app 1point5 beset by flaws

UN's coronavirus social distancing app 1point5 is 'barely functional' and could lead to dozens of false-positives as it alerts the user to the presence of any nearby Bluetooth device - not just smartphones The 1point5 app is designed to alert people if someone else is less than 5ft away  UN Technology Innovation Labs built the app to teach people about distancing When it detects another bluetooth device it warns users someone is too close Researchers say this isn't working when they test the app on different devices The team say there is also a false positive risk as lots of devices use bluetooth  Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

By Ryan Morrison For Mailonline

Published: 11:42 BST, 1 May 2020 | Updated: 15:28 BST, 1 May 2020

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An app built by a UN technology division to teach people about social distancing is 'barely functional' and could lead to false positives, according to researchers.

United Nations Technology Innovation Labs (UNTIL) iPhone and Android app uses bluetooth to measure the distance to other phones and devices.

It alerts people when they get too close to another person to 'educate people about social distancing' to slow the spread of coronavirus - but seems to pick up any bluetooth device not just phones.

This includes devices like smart speakers, televisions and even sensors that make use of the short range wireless technology - so it is generating false positives. 

A number of countries are using bluetooth based apps to help in tracking the virus - in this case it is just used to alert a user if they're breaking social distancing guidelines

A number of countries are using bluetooth based apps to help in tracking the virus - in this case it is just used to alert a user if they're breaking social distancing guidelines

The UNTIL app is designed to alert users when another Bluetooth device comes within 1.5 metres (hence the name 1point5) - that's about 5ft.

A number of countries are using Bluetooth to help track the virus - in this case it is just used to alert a user if they're breaking social distancing guidelines.

Other apps, such as the one used in Singapore and one being suggested for the NHS make a note if someone is close to another user and this can be used by doctors in tracking

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