University of Memphis app tracks social distancing |

University of Memphis app tracks social distancing

Created: April 08, 2020 03:24 PM

(WMC) Developers at the University of Memphis have a way to let you know just how well you’re social distancing. 

They've created one of the first-of-its-kind apps to track crowding, specifically in Shelby County, Tennessee.

Developers at the MD2K Center of Excellence at the U of M said their app mContain works like our step tracker on our phones. Instead of steps, mContain lets us know just how close we’re getting to others during this pandemic in hopes to provide us information to make decisions about our health.

“As we have on our phones activity trackers that track how many steps we’ve taken or how long we’ve been active. That allows us to have one metric on our well being and that is activity,” MD2K Center of Excellence Associate Director of Research and Studies Shahin Samiei said. “Same with sleep trackers. This app allows people to have an awareness on social crowding or social distancing.”

The app detects how close an app user is to another app user. Right now the app detects app users about six feet apart, which is the typical guideline for social distancing.

Then, the app user will get notifications about the locations they visited in a day.

While similar apps have been developed around the world, Memphis developers say the privacy of mContain makes it one of a kind.

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