Snapchat’s ‘virtual circle’ shows social distancing radius

Snapchat launches a new lens that shows users how close they can get to others while maintaining a safe social distance. © Courtesy of Snap

SANTA MONICA: Following up on its announcement about up and coming safety-oriented features made in late March, Snapchat has launched a pair of AR lenses for the app designed in collaboration with the World Health Organisation that encourage safe behaviour during the pandemic.

Snapchat has launched two new AR-powered lenses created with the WHO that are designed to promote social distancing and healthy habits amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

The first lens, titled “My Social Distance,” puts a virtual circle with the recommended two-metre radius around the user when their Snapchat camera is open.

This circle turns from green to red when another person enters the circle, therefore putting the user at risk for either transmitting or contracting the disease.

The second lens overlays WHO-sourced tips on how to practice good hygiene like how to effectively wash hands and cough into one’s elbow.

These additions support an announcement made by the company in late March outlining their efforts to “prioritise the health and safety of our Snapchat community, our partners, our team, and the world we all share together.”

At the time, Snapchat launched tools that give users access to the latest Covid-19 information as reported by organisations like the CDC and WHO, along with the feature Here For You which provides Snapchatters with content designed to help them manage mental health issues during this difficult time.

Back in March, Snapchat promised that, “This is just the start.” More Covid-19-oriented tools are surely in the works.