Crunchfish COVID-19 contact tracing technology, available now and free-of-charge
Who we are and why we’re engaging ourselves in this matter
Crunchfish is a Swedish tech company that develops and markets interaction solutions for mobile payments in a physical environment. The solutions are primarily marketed to payment apps, cash register providers and merchants in Sweden and India, as well as to multinational companies. The company also develops interaction solutions based on gesture control and has integrated that technology into millions of smartphones currently on the market. Today, development of the gesture control technology is focused on smart AR glasses.
COVID-19 is a global crisis that, in one way or another, affects every single person on Earth. The only way that we will get through this crisis is by working together. In the context of COVID-19, we believe that we have technology that may be of great help. A crucial part of the fight against COVID-19 is tracing individuals that have been diagnosed with the disease and identifying the people they have had contact with. It is important to note that the purpose of this tracing is not to red-flag individuals with the disease, rather to identify patterns in the spread of the disease. This pattern recognition can then be used as a tool for governments and health agencies to decide which measures to take in order to limit the spread of COVID-19 in their society.
A great number of companies, governments and health agencies around the world are currently struggling to devise a comprehensive digital strategy for COVID-19 tracing and data collection. Crunchfish has specialized in mobile interaction solutions since 2010, and since 2014 has been working on proximity technology for mobile applications. Our efforts have led to several inventions and new strategies, for which we hold multiple patents, including for solutions that makes it possible to securely collect data from iOS users that are not using the app in the foreground. Several of these inventions have been granted patents and could be used for COVID-19 contact tracing, such as:
- A technology that enables passive iOS and Android users to always be awakened by means of sporadic and synchronous advertisement. This is important in order to be able to collect proximity data from users that have installed the app but are not actively using their mobile phones.
- A technology that enables proximity-based identification of mobile users belonging to a subgroup of mobile users.
Our suggested strategy and approach for COVID-19 tracing
For the specific purpose of COVID-19 tracing we propose the following approach. Make use of sporadic and synchronized advertising from Android users in passive and active mode and from iOS users in active mode. The reason we suggest that the advertising be sporadic and synchronized is to repeatedly be able to get iOS users in passive mode to scan. Please refer to some more details from our recent press release at the Decision to Grant US patent 10,551,472.
On Friday, April 10th, Apple and Google jointly announced that they will partner to develop a COVID-19 contact tracing bluetooth framework in iOS and Android that will be made available to national health apps by mid-May. We strongly believe in the direction of Apple and Google to preserve users’ integrity to tokenize user identities. However, Crunchfish’s approach differs in other key areas, for example, we believe that central data aggregation is necessary for efficient COVID-19 tracing during this acute pandemic situation. The key differences are stated below:
|Apple’s and Google’s framework||Crunchfish’s patented approach|
|Advertising behavior||Devices are programmed to advertise constantly from iOS and Android devices in both passive and active mode. There is an advantage with iOS devices advertising in passive mode, if there are no Android devices present. Drain on battery from constant advertising.
|Devices are programmed to advertise sporadically and synchronized from passive Android devices as well as active iOS and Android devices for short intervals and then remain silent for at least 2 minutes to 5 minutes. More battery efficient solution.|
|Scanning behavior||Listening devices are programmed to scan for advertising signals regularly, at least every fifth minute. Drain on battery if not conditioned to only scan if there are advertising signals present.||Listening devices monitor for advertising using standard beacon technology prompting both iOS and Android devices to wake up, even in passive mode as a response. More battery efficient using all existing power saving scanning features in the devices today.
|Storage of discovered data||All proximity data are stored locally on the device with a personal option to share data to the central database. Apparent risk that proximity graph data is not forwarded to the central database of the national health app, which may be vital for COVID-19 tracing.
|All proximity data is collected in the central database. Important to have access to as much proximity graph data as possible for the purpose of COVID-19 tracing.|
|What apps may participate in this?||Only available to national health apps. As time is of essence, proximity graph data will not be collected, as many mobile users have not downloaded the app or onboarded the service. This leads to high risk of missing vital COVID-19 tracing data.||Strategy available to national health apps as well as to participating 3rd party apps that may be used to advertise and/or listen to generate proximity graph data for the national health app database. To initiate the proximity graph data collection requires only a standard app update with a click to consent, avoiding downloading of apps and onboarding.
|When is this available?||Available in May 2020.||Now.|
In this acute pandemic situation Crunchfish is willing to allow developers for both national and international health apps, as well as approved participating 3rd party apps, the use of our US Patent 10,551,472 and possibly also US Patent 10,212,568 until October 31, 2020 for the sole purpose of COVID-19 tracing free-of-charge. As we are a small company, we would kindly ask to enter into a regular business setup for IP-licensing, if use of our IP beyond that date is required. We are also willing to offer consultancy support at regular fees, if any company would require assistance to set this up. For more information, please see attached press release and mentioned patents.
We are grateful to take part of solving this global crisis together.
April 24th, 2020
For more information, contact:
Joachim Samuelsson, CEO at Crunchfish
+46 708 46 47 88
Västra Hamnen Corporate Finance AB is the Certified Adviser. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Telephone +46 40 200 250.
About Crunchfish – Crunchfish.com
Crunchfish develops and markets interaction solution for mobile payment in a physical environment. Crunchfish’s proximity-based technology connects a customer’s mobile phone to a payment service in a Point of Sales terminal at a merchant, and even has a patent-pending innovation for payments when both the customer and merchant are completely without connection to the payment service. The solutions are marketed to payment apps, cash register providers and merchants in Sweden and India, as well as to multinational companies.
The company also develops interaction solution based on gesture control and has integrated that technology into millions of smartphones currently on the market. Today, development of the gesture control technology is focused on smart, AR glasses.
Crunchfish has its headquarters in Malmö, Sweden. The company also has offices in Stockholm and representation in India. The company drives its businesses through two subsidiaries, Crunchfish Proximity for proximity-based interaction for mobile payments, and Crunchfish Gesture Interaction for gesture control for smart, AR glasses. Crunchfish was founded in 2010 and has 23 employees.