New COVID-19 TraceTogether tokens to be manufactured and designed by two bidders: GovTech

A man holds up a TraceTogether token. (Photo: Silver Generation Office)

SINGAPORE: The tender to design and manufacture subsequent batches of TraceTogether tokens has been awarded to two bidders, the Government Technology Agency (GovTech) said on Friday (Aug 21).

The first bidder is a consortium comprising electronics distributor Siix Singapore and wireless connectivity solutions firm iWOW, and the second bidder is PCI, an electronics manufacturer which won the tender for the first batch of TraceTogether tokens.

Each token is expected to cost about S$10, down from the S$20 in the first batch, with GovTech managing and pacing production of further batches based on demand.

“Drawing from the experience gained in producing the initial batch, GovTech will work with both tenderers to review their designs to further reduce cost, while ensuring effectiveness of the token for contact tracing,” said GovTech.

PCI, which started as a Silicon Valley circuit board manufacturer in 1972, was bought by American private equity firm Platinum Equity for S$265 million last year.

The electronics manufacturer was awarded S$6 million to produce the first batch of 300,000 TraceTogether Tokens.

The tokens were distributed to vulnerable seniors from Jun 28, including those who are physically frail, living alone or have poor family support.

The initial version has an estimated battery life of six to nine months and does not require any charging. It was also designed to be convenient, light and easy to use.

Each TraceTogether token will have a unique QR code and is personalised for the recipient’s use only.

The token works by exchanging Bluetooth signals with other TraceTogether tokens or with mobile phones nearby running the TraceTogether app, with collected data encrypted and kept in the device for no more than 25 days.

The token has no GPS, which means it does not capture geolocation data. It also does not have internet or cellular connectivity, so the encrypted data cannot be remotely extracted from the device.

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