It’s all about social distancing nowadays due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Healthcare experts are continuously emphasizing the benefits of hygiene and maintaining a safe distance of at least 6-feet from people around to escape the infection.
Google, the tech behemoth, has come up with a virtual social distancing tool, called Solar to help users maintain an augmented reality circle of a radius of 6 feet around them. The tool uses WebXR to create the 2 meter or 6 feet distance.
Sodar App for Virtual Social Distancing
Experiments with Google is the harbinger of this tool. The phone uses augmented reality to map the area around you, superimposing the virtual ring on the view from your camera. acc
At the moment, the tool is available for Android users only. It will be available for iOS at a later date. Notably, old Android phones need to update to access this tool. To use the Sodar on your phone, you need to have the updated version of the Google ARCore. You can search for “Google Play Services for AR” on the Play Store and update/install it to use the tool.
Once that is done, you can scan the QR code to go to the mobile site.
*Tap on ‘Launch’
*You will see a dialogue box asking for your permission to let the website “create a 3D map of your surroundings and track camera positions.”
*Allow the permission
*Scan the ground. You need to point your phone camera down and move it around to find the ground. The measuring tool should then appear.
*You will see a ring around you with a 2-meter radius
To use the Sodar on your phone, you need to have the updated version of the Google ARCore. You can search for “Google Play Services for AR” on the Play Store and update/install it to use the new social distancing AR tool.
According to the World Health Organisation, one-meter distance is safe to avoid contamination, but the distance number varies. Some governments and health authorities are advocating a 2-meter or 6 feet distance. The latest report says that corona droplets can carry a distance of 20 feet in some humid and cold weather.
Google has taken care of privacy concerns too. Before accessing the mobile site, a pop up appears, which says, “While you’re in AR, this site may be able to: create a 3D map of your environment; track camera motion. Only you can see what your camera is looking at. The site can’t see your camera’s images.”