New Google tool helps users maintain social distance

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Google is using augmented reality to make it easier to follow safety guidelines with a new app called ‘Sodar’.

Google is trying to do its part in helping people maintain a safe social distance. The experimental project by Google uses WebXR to visualize social distancing guidelines.

Experiments with Google has come up with this solution called ‘Sodar‘. Sodar utilizes augmented reality to help the users visualize the social distancing guidelines in their environment. A project on technology hacks to help people cope with the coronavirus pandemic developed this tool.

The app has been developed by Experiments with Google. It is not directly available on the Play Store. However, by just scanning a QR code or through Google Chrome, the tool can be easily side-loaded.

The new app employs the phone’s camera and WebXR. It puts user at the center of a ring of radius 2 metres or 6.5 feet. Therefore, when outdoors, it is easy to maintain a safe social distance.

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The perimeter is constructed using the AR technology that is used in a lot of mobile games too. Moreover, the technology assumes that the user and the phone move together. The beloved game Pokemon Go also makes use of the same technology. As soon as another person enters the radius, the phone will alert the user visually.

Sodar works through Google Chrome browsers on Android phones. Therefore, it is not an application, it’s a tool. To use Sodar simply visit sodar.withgoogle.com from a Chrome browser.

This new tool employs AR technology. Therefore, it is not available for all Android devices. Only the devices that support AR can make use of this feature.

Sodar can make lives easier outdoors, especially in settings like queues etc. With the visual aspect integrated, people can easily follow the safety guidelines and help prevent the spread of Corona Virus.

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