Corona Tracing w/ Nano 33 BLE possible?

I'm wondering if using the Nano 33 BLE (Sense) would be possible and reasonable to send out the BLE beacons and receive the BLE beacons as discussed in the various approaches for Corona Tracing Apps in Europe (PEPP-PT, DP-3T etc.).

This would eliminate several issues of a purely smartphone-driven solution:

  • Different BLE modules in different smartphones (harde to approximate distance based on rssi)
  • Need Google and Apple to cooperate
  • Data privacy concerns
  • Corona data is connected to a particular smartphone
  • Not everyone has a smartphone
    I would still use mobile phones with a compatible app to exchange data between the central servers and the Nano 33 BLE. But in that solution, the smartphone could be anyone's phone that has the App installed. It doesn't neccessarily have to be my own phone (anonymity impact).

I'm curious: What do you think? Is it possible? Is it worth thinking about?


The reason they want to use smartphones are

  • 3.5 billion people on the planet (~45%) have one
  • installing an app is virtually free, your device even if build for 1$ would cost 3.5B$ to cover the same amount of people or a lot more
  • BLE beacons can run with very little energy e.g. coin cell
  • scanning for beacons costs more energy, so people would need to charge your device, they already need to charge their phones
  • scanning is not enough you need to store the data. Your 1$ device cannot do that, most people living in large cities pass by a lot of people during one day
  • your device cannot send the data by itself it needs another radio (WiFi, LTE, ..) e.g. your phone
  • it is not possible to build 5 billion new BLE devices in a short amount of time, the wafer processing alone takes six to eight weeks and the number of wafers that can be produced at the same time is limited

Additionally, I do not think you can remove the privacy concerns. The purpose of the device/app is tracking.

Google and Apple work together all the time. Engineers cooperate while the lawyers protect each companies interests. Google maps and other services run nicely on iPhone.