SINGAPORE: Checking in at public venues using TraceTogether could become easier and faster, if a new device on trial at Downtown East mall gets the green light.
Designed and built by the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG), the SafeEntry Gateway aims to provide a “more seamless and convenient check-in experience” for TraceTogether users, who can avoid the long queues to scan QR codes or their identity cards for SafeEntry check-in that are sometimes seen during peak hours at popular venues.
The SafeEntry Gateway detects active TraceTogether app and token users, and records visitors’ check-ins by exchanging Bluetooth signals.
Token users just have to bring their tokens within 5 to 15cm of the device to scan in, while those using the phone app will have to turn on their Bluetooth, open the app and bring their phone close to the device. A beep sound and a light will be triggered when the check-in is successful.
The process only takes a few seconds, and is similar to using an EZ-Link card on public transport.
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The device has been on trial at three entrances at Downtown East since the start of October. Each prototype costs less than S$100, excluding operational costs, although the actual cost of the device will depend on its final design, said SNDGG in reply to queries by CNA.
The trial will run until the end of the year.
SNDGG told CNA that SafeEntry Gateway trials could be expanded to other locations that will be piloting mandatory TraceTogether check-ins.
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Authorities have said that one of the criteria for Singapore to move into Phase 3 of its reopening is a 70 per cent participation rate in TraceTogether, which relies on proximity data exchanged via Bluetooth to help authorities identify a list of potential close contacts for COVID-19 cases.
More than 50 per cent of Singapore’s population are currently on board the programme, with more than 2.9 million people using the token or the app.