The term “social distance” or “physical distance” is more common these days as the world continues to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. People find it hard to follow but it’s very easy to do, but I think you also know how close people are. Visually impaired people may not know much about such distances but the upcoming access feature for the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max will let people nearby find their fancy new LIDAR sensor and also let the user know how close or farther they are from you. So you can avoid them or tell them to keep their distance.
You may be surprised that LIDAR can already be used to measure distances between an iPhone and other objects. However, LIDAR does not discriminate between objects and persons, making it impossible to distinguish a post from a person.
That’s where ARKit’s People Occlusion lends a hand, the same technology if there are people with a given technology. Together, these two can determine if a person is within a given distance limit and inform the customer accordingly.
This accessibility feature, designed for those with eye problems or those who are completely blind, gives them a sense that, through audio readout or haptics, they can take appropriate action if needed if people are within a certain distance. However it could also be Used as a social distance tool When set up with a custom limit to notify people in the neighborhood if proper safety measures are not followed.
People Detection is already available in iOS 14.2 beta and will hopefully be available to the general public next week. Considering that it requires LIDAR to work, it is only available on the “Pro” iPhone models, the iPhone 12 Pro and the still-coming iPhone 12 Pro Max.