For those who followed the local music or gossip scene, you might be familiar with his stage name, Caprice. However, Ariz Ramli has also worked on other projects outside of his music and his latest work comes in the form of an app called Virtual Movement Control Order (VMCO).
In its essence, VMCO is a contact tracing app that is meant to allow the public to move around and businesses to operate in an open and systematic manner. The main foundation of this app is rather simple which is through colour-coded individual profile.
A green profile means that the individual can move freely within green zone areas. A yellow profile indicates that the person’s movement should be restricted to within 10km of his or her home and those with Orange profile would be restricted further to just 3km while a red profile means that the individual should not go out of his or her home.
Through the implementation of geofencing, a green profile would be reclassified as a yellow profile for 48 hours if the person travels outside of his or her designated green zone area. Once that happened, the app would automatically report the individual to the authorities for further action.
Another important element of VMCO according to Caprice is the participation of retailers. When the individual goes out to shop, the retailer would ask him or her to tap their phone on the VMCO reader or provide their unique ID for their locations to be recorded into the VMCO backend system.
Caprice pointed out that the grand objective of all these elements is to establish a digital footprint in relation to the movement of the individual. If he or she is tested positive for COVID-19, the VMCO system can be used to automatically trace back the movements of the infected individual in order to identify those that might have been in contact with him or her.
Once being identified, their profile would then be reclassified to red and would also be referred to the authorities for further test and quarantine. Additionally, the system would also gather the locations that the infected individual has visited within the same timeframe which would then be designated as red zones for appropriate actions.
In general, it is certainly an interesting presentation by Caprice although the foundational idea of using colour-coded individual profile is not exactly new. For example, multiple local governments in China already using colour based QR code that have been integrated into Alipay and WeChat to dictate the movement of the population.
Naturally, you are only allowed to move freely if your QR health code is green while those that deemed risky or have been infected by the virus were given yellow and red codes which would then have their movements being restricted according to their respective risk level.
Caprice’s VMCO is yet another addition to the list of Malaysian-made COVID-19 contact tracing app. Prior to this, researchers in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Universiti Malaya are already working on such app. Not to forget, that is not even counting the government’s own MySejahtera and Gerak Malaysia apps as well as the unreleased MyTrace app.
In terms of presentation, VMCO app certainly looks more attractive than MySejahtera and Gerak Malaysia. But when it comes to an app that is meant to play a critical role in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic, there are still plenty of questions that we hope Caprice has looked and cover in his proposal for any parties that would like to adopt VMCO.
For example, there is the question regarding viability of NFC over QR code. Then, there is also the need to look at the app’s processing speed and network usages. Of course, there is also the age-old question of data privacy and the app also needs to be agile and versatile enough to adapt to the changes within the government’s SOP which happens frequently in such a short span of time.
Meanwhile, the rapper claimed that VMCO could be ready for deployment in 45 days if it able to receive the support from the government. Right now, Caprice has asked his 1 million followers on Instagram to lobby for the support by making his VMCO presentation viral.
Well, let’s see how it will go from there.