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How to use Google’s new social distancing app

Google’s new social distancing app lets you easily see if someone is standing too close to you

By James Cook

Google has released a new tool which lets you easily see social distancing guidelines overlaid on the real world using augmented reality.

The company released Sodar (which likely means “social distancing radar”) this week and it’s available free for anyone using a modern Android smartphone.

The app is only available for Android users, so you’re out of luck if you have an iPhone.

Here’s how you can use it:

Download Google Chrome and Google Play Services for AR

You’ll need two pieces of software installed: Google Chrome, which is likely to be your default web browser, and Google Play Services for AR.

Many modern smartphones have Google Play Services for AR already installed, but if you don’t have it, search for it in the Google Play Store and download it:

You’ll need to make sure you’ve downloaded augmented reality software to your smartphone CREDIT: The Telegraph

Head to the Sodar website

Once you have downloaded that, fire up Google Chrome and type in:

This will open up the web page for Sodar. Hit the green “Launch” button to begin.

Google’s new Sodar tool is available online CREDIT: The Telegraph

Teach the app where the ground is

Now, you’ll need to point your phone’s camera at the ground so that the app learns where you are.

You’ll need to point your phone at the ground to start CREDIT: The Telegraph

Once you’ve done that, a shaded area will appear around you on your smartphone screen – this is your space.

Google shows a two-metre ring around users of the app CREDIT: The Telegraph

See how to social distance

A ring around the edge of your space shows where two metres ends.

Google’s new app shows how far away two metres is to help you with social distancing CREDIT: The Telegraph

So this chair, for example, is not practising social distancing as it’s less than two metres away.

Google’s Sodar social distancing app CREDIT: The Telegraph

Now you can use the app wherever you are to easily show social distancing guidelines, whether you’re in the queue outside a supermarket or standing in the street.

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