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These location-based mobile tools can help you maintain social distancing

With both the movement of people and COVID-19 cases increasing rapidly in several countries around the world, it has become more crucial than ever to follow rules and regulations (and wear a mask). Social distancing continues to remain one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of the coronavirus, but it can also be quite tricky to follow, especially in crowded places. Here are some free mobile applications that can help:

From L to R: 1point5, Crowdless, and Sodar

1point5 by UN Technology Innovation Labs

1point5 measures your distance to other phones and devices as long as the Bluetooth of those phones is turned on. Those other phones do not need to have the app installed for the app to detect their presence. If anyone encroaches your 1.5-meter perimeter (adjustable to 2.5 meters, depending on your preference), the phone will vibrate to alert you.

You can disable alerts from known devices around you and rest assured in the knowledge that the app does not collect any personally identifiable information. The app is available for both Android and iOS devices.

Crowdless by ESA Business Incubation Centre UK

This free app provides live data on the busyness of supermarkets so you can choose to shop when it’s safest for you. Crowdless uses anonymized existing data sources, such as Google Maps and Google Places data, to track the movements of mobile devices. It combines this information with crowd-sourced data by asking the user to confirm whether or not the location is busy.

The app does not store any personal data and your current location is used for the sole purpose of displaying the most relevant search results. You can find the app in both Apple Appstore and Google Play Store.

Sodar by Google

Sodar is a new augmented reality (AR) tool by Google that would allow you to visualize a 2-meter social distancing guideline in your environment. Sodar is not a standalone app and you do not need to install it. You only need to visit its website using the Google Chrome browser on Android devices. Once launched, Sodar will create a radius ring of just over 6 feet around you to help you understand how far you should be standing from others.


Ishveena is a geospatial enthusiast and a veteran of creating and managing compelling digital content for organizations and individuals. When she is not making magic at her desk, you are likely to find her exploring nature, eating her way through life, or binge-watching funny animal videos.

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