There's no denying that the Coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we think and how we go about our daily lives these days. Needless to say, the new changes we have adopted will stay with us for the near future and one of them being strictly following the social-distancing guidelines to keep ourselves safe from contracting Covid-19. Now, Google has launched a new tool called 'Sodar' that used Augmented Reality to help you visualise a six-feet social distancing guideline. The new AR tool has been developed under Experiments With Google but is not available to download from Google Play Store, presently.
Talking about how Sodar works, the AR tool uses WebXR to create a visual boundary by using the user's smartphone camera and help maintain this social-distancing guideline. According to Google, "the experiment uses WebXR to visualise 2-metre social distancing guidelines in your environment."
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
The app superimposes the 2-metre or a 6.5 feet virtual ring on the viewfinder and moves with the user in the form of a circle. It should be noted that Sodar is made using the same kind of AR technology that is found similar to smartphone games like Pokemon Go. Furthermore, the screen will visually alert the user if they breach the circle. Since Sodar is web-based, you do not need a special app to run it on your device.
Sodar can be accessed on Chrome browsers on Android smartphones and users can head to goo.gle/sodar to launch it. Notably, the feature is not available on iOS devices. Since governments around the world have developed their own contract-tracing app to find the Covid-19 hotspots in their country, it remains to be seen whether Google's latest initiative really pays off to reinforce the idea of social-distancing guidelines.