NearForm’s technical director, Colm Harte, told the Future Human audience how the Covid Tracker Ireland app came about.

With the full scale of the Covid-19 pandemic unfolding in Ireland in March, NearForm’s Colm Harte said that the Waterford company was tasked by the HSE with coming up with a contact-tracing app prototype in just five days.

As modern smartphones were not designed with contact-tracing in mind, the development team had to speak with Google and Apple to find ways that would allow for a Bluetooth-based tracing app to work on their devices, while still maintaining user privacy.

“There had been a lot of concerns in the media around, will this be effective? Will it work? And how is it going to manage my privacy?” Harte said at Future Human 2020.


Words by Colm Gorey