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VMware’s Herald Proximity Project Wins OpenUK Award for Software

Eloy Ontiveros

We’re delighted to announce that The Herald Proximity project, originally a VMware open source project and now part of Linux Foundation Public Health (LFPH), has been awarded a 2021 OpenUK Award in the Software category. OpenUK is a not-for-profit industry organization which advocates for the three "Opens" that comprise open technology: open source software, open source hardware and open data. Each year, the OpenUK awards recognize and celebrate U.K. leadership in the field of Open Technology.

Dawn Foster, board member of OpenUK and director of Open Source Community Strategy at VMware comments: “OpenUK’s purpose is to develop U.K. leadership and global collaboration in open technology. These awards aim to celebrate leaders and experts making great strides in open source development and usage. We want to create a single, loud voice for Open Technology in the U.K. and a visible community that leads from the front.”

The Herald Proximity project provides a range of fundamental programming interfaces to allow software developers to quickly build applications that use regular distance proximity calculation and the exchange of data between two or more devices. There are a range of use cases for this, including:

  • Digital Contact Tracing (DCT): Herald provides a highly reliable DCT system with a wide device support, including dedicated wearables.
  • Venue check-in: The Herald Venue Check-In Beacon offers a low-cost, automatic, and privacy-preserving alternative to manual QR code scanning in restaurants, bars and other venues. This is useful as an aid to DCT.
  • Visitor services: Visitors can use their mobile phone to pinpoint their position when visiting an unfamiliar area and is useful for complex university campuses or hospitals. This is done in a privacy-preserving way without sharing their data to the venue.

Adam Fowler, platform architect and lead on the Herald Proximity project, comments: “This recognition is a great endorsement of the impact the Herald proximity project continues to have on developing and improving digital contact tracing. As an open source project with open governance, we’ve helped open countless doors for future applications in healthcare beyond pandemics, including the monitoring of chronic diseases through wearables and the replacement of the hospital pager system, to name just two.”

LFPH builds, secures, and sustains open source software such as the Herald Proximity project to help public health authorities (PHAs) combat COVID-19 and future epidemics. Its support has been crucial to enabling the breakthrough work that has been undertaken by the Herald Proximity project.  

Jim St. Clair, executive director, LFPH comments: “The Herald Proximity project has been one of LFPH’s fastest-growing projects. It’s currently deployed in Australia and Alberta, CA, across more than 7.5 million phones. This award is well deserved for a project that keeps going from strength to strength and demonstrates the impact of open source software.”

You can find more details about the Herald Proximity project and how to get involved at the website or the project's github repo.

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