Selangkah app adds Bubble feature for group check-in


Selangkah overhauls app in conjunction with its first anniversary, adding a Bubble feature that enables group check-in. — SAMUEL ONG/The Star

Contact tracing app Selangkah has introduced an array of updates as part of an app facelift, including a new feature to check-in with people in a user’s social circle.

The feature called ‘Bubble’ enables users to group their friends and family members into a bubble, which can be used to simultaneously check-in everyone when entering a premise, rather than needing each person to check-in individually.

These groups come in three versions: Family, comprising only family members; Friends, which features the users’ closest friends; and Colleagues, which includes co-workers that the user regularly hangs out with.

The name of the feature is based on the pandemic safety-practice of limiting interactions to a small group of people who agree to take the same precautions, thus creating a “bubble” together.

“As we progressed through the pandemic, we learned that people would prefer and widely adopt the more convenient option that’s offered to them,” said Selangkah founder and chief information officer Dr Helmi Zakariah.

He added that beyond being a group check-in feature, Bubble is meant to change user behaviour and make them prioritise who they spend time with.

“It doesn’t mean that you should go out and resume contact with everyone you know, but rather you commit to only hanging out with certain individuals. People can have their social connections in moderation, while the nation can have an economy that remains in motion,” he said, in a press release.

Apart from group check-ins, Bubble can be used to set group appointments for Covid-19 screening tests, home quarantine monitoring, and signing up for vaccination.

Dr Helmi said the second phase of the Bubble feature will be powered by advanced analytics to measure personal and group behavioural exposure to Covid-19, which aims to help the country devise a long-term, sustainable pandemic strategy.

In conjunction with the app’s first anniversary since being launched, there have been several updates including a facelift of the key screens including the home, scan, and user profile screens.

Customer support has also been made easier to reach, with the addition of a WhatsApp button that connects to the app’s customer support team.

There is also a new button on the homescreen to access Selangkah Vax, where employers can enrol their workforce for Selangor’s Covid-19 vaccination programme.

The Affected Premises Map function has been replaced by an AI-powered Forecasting Map, which claims to be able to predict emerging clusters so users will know to stay away.

In order to make Selangkah more accessible, the team also launched a web app which works exactly the same as the app version. This way users can use the service, even if their phone is not compatible or does not offer the app in its native store.

First rolled out on May 4, 2020, Selangkah was meant as a measure to monitor the spread of Covid-19 infection in Selangor during the movement control order (MCO) period.

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