The term social distancing has been thrown around quite a bit during the COVID-19 pandemic and national lockdown, with some people finding innovative and ridiculous ways to ensure a safe distance is kept between themselves and others. The new Sodar AR tool from Google’s experimental team sits somewhere in the middle.
The AR tool makes use of the a smartphone display to visually represent a six foot or two metre radius around the person holding the device, which for all intents and purposes, creates a “bubble” for social distancing.
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
It’s still to be determined precisely why such a tool was created, or indeed whether this is an effective use of AR technology. Those interested in using Sodar do not need to download any app in order for it to work. Instead, you simply need to visit the Sodar website on your mobile device.
There is a caveat, however, with it only working on the Chrome browser for Android devices.
Should this AR tool ever take off, perhaps it will be rollout to other operating systems and browsers.
Whether that does indeed happen, remains to be seen, but our money for now is on the negative.visuals on Unsplash]