Today, the Linux Foundation Public Health (LFPH) Technical Advisory Council (TAC) voted to accept Herald, a VMware-originated project, as the fourth LFPH-hosted project. Herald joins COVID Green and COVID Shield, which were part of the foundation’s launch in July 2020. 

Herald, an exposure notification library, provides reliable Bluetooth communication and range finding across a wide range of mobile devices, making exposure notification and other use cases highly effective with regular and accurate information. It helps to solve risk estimation problems by detecting nearby phones, providing regular distance readings, and providing a common packet header to allow international interoperability. More than 97% of phones worldwide can use the Herald Protocol.

State and national governments, and COVID-19 wearable manufacturers, are already deploying Herald for exposure notification. It has been selected by the Australian government as the standard Bluetooth protocol in the most recent versions of its COVID-19 exposure notification application. Additional local, regional, and national government organizations are also currently evaluating Herald for use in their exposure notification apps. 

LFPH’s initial launch focused on exposure notification applications using the Google Apple Exposure Notification (GAEN) system. By accepting Herald, the foundation is expanding to support additional aspects of Public Health Authorities (PHA) such as testing, tracing, and isolation activities. Herald’s existing adopter ecosystem also includes Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and Systems Integrators (SIs) who work on broader healthcare application initiatives, many of which go beyond government and COVID-19 uses and thus cannot use GAEN. Two adopters are also working on wearables for children and the elderly, which Herald will support.

Created by researchers at VMware, Herald’s initial project oversight members come from VMware, the Australian Government’s COVID-19 app team, Facedrive Canada, and another national government app team to be announced shortly. 

You can find more information on the project in the public proposal as presented to the TAC.

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