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Japanese Computer-Savvy Teen Designs App to Fight Pandemic


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Sixteen-year-old Syu Kato, who invented the app.

A Japanese teenaber designed an app to use GPS to track iPhone users' whereabouts and help with contract tracing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Credit: Kenichi Kato/AP

Syu Kato, 16, of Japan has designed an app that takes advantage of GPS so people can use their iPhones to keep track of their whereabouts and help with contract tracing during the coronavirus pandemic.

The new app Asiato, meaning "footprint," works like a diary to track a phone's location within a distance of roughly 10 meters (33 feet), and can identify where the user has been in the past several weeks.

Kato won the government-backed Mitou Foundation's "super creator" award in 2017 for his DrawCode, which simplifies HTML language for kids.

Said Yu Ukai, who heads the foundation's youth efforts, "There are a lot of ways young people like Syu can contribute to society during the pandemic as the crisis reveals many challenges that can be solved using technology."

From Associated Press
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