Google's 'Sodar' is an AR tool for social distancing

It can help you adjust to the new normal.

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Mariella Moon
May 29th, 2020
In this article: news, gear
People standing waiting in line far apart to maintain social distance distancing during covid-19 coronavirus outbreak with mark cross signs on sidewalk pavement by grocery food store shop shopping
krblokhin via Getty Images

Google has a new augmented reality tool that can help you follow social distancing rules when you do have to venture out of your home. It’s an experimental project called “Sodar” — introduced by the Experiments with Google account on Twitter — that creates a six feet or two meter radius ring around you through your phone screen. The tool’s purpose is to give you a way to visualize how far six feet is supposed to be and adjust to the new normal as lockdowns start to ease up.

Sodar isn’t a standalone app and doesn’t need to be installed to work — to use it, you simply have to visit its website. That said, it will only work using Chrome on Android devices, and some Android devices may not be compatible. If you’ve ever successfully viewed any of Google’s AR projects (such as its augmented reality animals) on your device, though, your phone is most likely capable of displaying Sodar’s virtual social distancing indicator.

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