Trusted and ubiquitous: how Taiwan is using SMS to fight COVID-19
Just last week the Taiwanese government launched an SMS-based service for contact tracing. The free service will have people scan a QR code when they enter a venue and an SMS message addressed to the country’s contact-tracing number will be automatically created with the venue’s identification code. All people will have to do is press ‘send.’
If someone’s phone does not have a camera, or can’t read QR codes, they will be able to manually send a regular SMS with the venue code. The process is super quick, and doesn’t require internet connection.
Often times people think SMS is an industry of the past while in fact, it continuous to grow because of its ubiquitous presence and the trust associated with it. By building their technology on SMS, Taiwan reduced technical barriers to access and use a much-important service in tackling the pandemic.