Google Sodar Tool Uses Augmented Reality To Remind Users To Maintain Social Distance


COVID-19 pandemic has updated our vocabulary with terms like social distancing and more. Going forward, health experts are warning that we'll need to live with the virus (at least till there's a vaccine) and maintain social distancing. Google has now figured a way of using smartphones to remind people to keep their distance.

Google Develops New Tool That Reminds Users To Maintain Social Distanc


Google's idea is to tap into one of the most common gadgets that nearly the entire global population is using: smartphones. Google has introduced a new tool that lets people know when they're getting closer to other people and not maintaining social distance. The Google Sodar tool warns people when they're getting closer than the pandemic guideline recommendations.

How Does Google Sodar Work?

The Sodar tool, which will be available starting this week, uses the Android platform and smartphone cameras to alert users. The camera places users in the center of a white circle with a radius of about two meters. This is the perimeter distance recommended for the pandemic social distancing.

The circle imposed via the Android smartphone will move along with the user, highlight the surroundings. Users will need to keep their smartphones in the center and once they get too close, they will get a visual warning that they are in a potentially hazardous radius.

Google Sodar tool works using the Chrome browsers on Android smartphones that support augmented reality. The tool is featured as part of the Experiments With Google project that aims to help people get through the COVID-19 pandemic. The experiment users the application program interface WebXR to visualize two-meter social distancing guidelines.

How Is Google Sodar Different From Contact Tracing?

Recently, Google and Apple launched the COVID-19 contact tracing, allowing other health organizations and governments to build apps from it. The contact tracing requires users to switch on Bluetooth at all times and uses different technology.


On the other hand, the Google-developed Sodar tool is quite different from contact tracing. For one, it only requires your smartphone's camera and runs only on Android devices. The Google Sodar tool uses augmented reality technology that can even be found in games like Pokemon Go.

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