The Corona-Warn-App is currently an important tool to counter the Corona pandemic. But since many children and seniors do not own a smartphone, so the app is not available to them. In the particularly vulnerable risk group of the over-70s, this figure is as high as 40 percent. This makes it more difficult to track corona outbreaks, because many chains of infection remain undetected. A development, the Barkhausen Institute and its local partners are currently working on, is now promising a solution. The Corona-Warning-Buzzer initially appears as a simple key ring. But the technology behind makes it possible to find out whether you have been in contact with an infected person even without a smartphone.
The Corona-Warn-Buzzer is compatible with the Corona-Warn-App on smartphones, which means that it registers via Bluetooth whether smartphones with the Corona-Warn-App or other buzzers are in the vicinity. If these come critically close, their presence is recorded. Conversely, these devices also recognize one´s own buzzer. The contact remains encrypted and the location of the encounter is not registered, exactly as required by data protection regulations for the app. After 14 days, the data will be deleted again. In case a corona case is reported to the RKI within this period of time, the Corona-Warning-Buzzer informs its wearer by means of an acoustic signal, vibration and LED display. To ensure security, the Saxon data protection officer is involved in the entire project. In the next step, the Corona Warning Buzzer will be tested under real conditions in Augustusburg.
In order to close the gap in the tracking system, the project is funded by the Free State of Saxony. The Barkhausen Institute is working on the topics security, optimization, as well as compatibility with the Corona-Warn-App and the plausibility of the distance measurements. The cooperation is carried out with the companies Digades GmbH (Zittau), FEP Fahrzeugelektrik Pirna GmbH & Co. KG and Exelonix GmbH (Dresden). If the test phase in Augustusburg is successfully completed, the partners will soon be able to produce the Corona-Warn-Buzzer in large quantities and thus offer a safe alternative to the App.