If there’s one phrase we’ve heard more than any other this year it’s probably “social distance.” The phrase refers to the primary method people can adopt in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. Most governments around the world recommend social distancing 6 feet (2 meters) from the next closest person to stop the spread.
However, humans are generally bad at judging distances, which is why Google’s new tool might be of some help. The tool, called “Sodar” (get it? Social distancing radar), allows a user to project an augmented reality circle around them with a 6-foot radius. Looking through their phone’s display when the tool is running will allow the person to see if anyone else is within their 6-foot social distancing space.
Sodar – use WebXR to help visualise social distancing guidelines in your environment. Using Sodar on supported mobile devices, create an augmented reality two meter radius ring around you. #hacktohelp https://t.co/Bu78QrEN9f pic.twitter.com/kufatNFDQk
— Experiments with Google (@ExpWithGoogle) May 28, 2020
While the tool is pretty cool, it’s probably not that practical to constantly look through your phone’s display if you’re walking down the street. However, it could be helpful when people are stationary, such as when sitting at a table in a restaurant or when relaxing at the park.
For now, the tool is only available for Android phones and requires the Chrome browser to operate. To use the tool, simply go to sodar.withgoogle.com and get your social distancing on.