Google Just Handed Android Users a Virtual Way to Maintain Social Distance

Google's AR experiment draws a virtual circle around you

As we emerge from our stay-at-home lives and try to follow social distancing guidelines, this tech solution could provide an easy way to maintain proper distance without using a ruler.

Social distancing
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As states and countries reopen, one thing will remain consistent, the need to stay at least 6-feet away from each other. You can eyeball those 72-inches, bring a ruler, or use Sodar, Google's experimental Android-only Web app, revealed by Google Experiments.

What is it: Sodar may be the first augmented-reality based social distancing tool. It uses Android's support for the web-based augmented reality platform WebXR to create a virtual 6 ft (2 meter) space between you and your surroundings.

Sodar
On the left, how you get started with Sodar. On the right, what it looks like when you use it to measure social distance. Google

How to use it: Android (and Chrome) users can visit https://sodar.withgoogle.com/. On smartphones, the tool starts by asking you to wave your phone over the floor to teach WebXR about your environment. After that, the phone projects a virtual 6-foot circle around you. The space inside the circle is full of dots. At the ends, is a thick line covering the circumference of the circle and a "2m" label.

Why use this: No one expects you to walk around staring at your phone all the time (though some of you do, anyway), but Sodar could come in handy when you arrive at a shopping center or other venue where there are more than a handful of people around.

Bottom line: As the COVID-19 pandemic recedes and we emerge from our homes, you may find yourself in a situation where someone is too close to you. Instead of asking them to move, you can pull out your Android phone and get an instant idea of the proper social distance, and then take a step back until they're outside of your virtual circle.

Via: Popular Mechanics

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