Google Sodar uses augmented reality to help maintain social distance

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, one topic has been in constant discussion. Social distancing. Be it 1.5 metres or even 2 metres, we all had to adapt to the new social customs. But when are we really too close?

To answer this question, Google has released a new augmented reality app for Android that helps users visualize the right behavior during social distancing.


Sodar, as the application is called, comes from “Experiments with Google” and uses web-based augmented reality and the mobile phone’s camera to visualize the correct distance as a ring with a radius of two meters.

The application is very simple. QR Code scanning or go to and correct the phone down. Users can already see how well they are following the recommended spacing rules.

Even though social distancing is currently under constant discussion and there is no uniform opinion on whether one meter is enough or whether it should be two meters, Sodar shows what is possible today with web-based Augmented Reality. Since it is no longer necessary to install a separate app, the immersive technology can reach a broader mass and thus be used by companies from a wide range of industries. Whether for the presentation of information, as Sodar does in terms of social distancing, or to supplement the real world with virtual content. WebXR, as it is often called, is the future of augmented reality and mixed reality.


Post picture: Glenn Chapman/AFP

Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker is an innovation profiler, future strategist and media expert who helps companies understand the opportunities behind technologies such as artificial intelligence for the next five to ten years. He is the founder of the consulting firm "Alexander Pinker - Innovation Profiling", the innovation marketing agency "innovate! communication" and the news platform "Medialist Innovation". He is also the author of three books and a lecturer at the Technical University of Würzburg-Schweinfurt.

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