PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – NOVID is the first major anonymous contact tracing app to use ultrasound and bluetooth technology to accurately gauge the distance between people.

“NOVID is a fully anonymous way of keeping track of who you’ve been around without having any clue of who they are,” said Po-Shen Loh.

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Po-Shen Loh is an associate math professor at Carnegie Mellon University. He came up with the idea of NOVID, then mobilized a team of researchers to make it happen.

You don’t have to identify yourself in any way. It generates what’s called a random user identifier. The app will pick up someone else near you using NOVID, but you won’t know who that person is.

“At any point if anybody presses a button called ‘anonymously self-report a positive COVID-19 test,’ then what happens is people they have been close to for extended periods of time are sent an anonymized message that says things like somebody just self-reported a positive test,” said Loh.

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“This will help them remain vigilant and continue to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Loh.

It will allow that person to decide whether or not it’s in their best interest to go near a relative who may be at higher risk for catching the virus.

“If we do this as a society, we might be able to reduce the spread of COVID-19 very significantly,” said Loh.

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NOVID is available to download in the app store and Google Play.