This is a victory for the ‘Love is Not Tourism’ campaigners
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As the pandemic puts curbs on summer vacation plans, travellers are forced to think locally. Proximity of destinations and safety of travel have become the basics that travellers worldwide are thinking about. Some have started to think out of the box and adding technology to the mix to help us cope with the new normal. Here are some apps and tools that could help while travelling in the current scenario.
As travellers are forced to think local due to the pandemic, road-trips emerge as a socially distanced, safer alternative for the perfect vacation. Roadtrippers, a US-based travel-planning app launched as a resource for pooling offbeat locations around the world, seems to be just the thing we need. The app uses user recommendations to uncover unique destinations from a robust database with millions of locally recommended stops, surprising museums, an array of strange and unique spots in between routes around the world. The options include top sights, diners, camping locations, and so on.
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The lockdown has made us long for a perfect getaway for a while now. But regular is passé and to travel means to find unconventional solutions. The Unhotel Co, a new-age ‘experiences company’ based from Gurugram offers handpicked accommodations to stay safe while satisfying your wanderlust. The app has been in place for the past four years. However, it seems more relevant in the current scenario. It offers accommodation options at offbeat locations in various tourist destinations keeping you away from the usual rush. The app also updates you about the various guidelines provided by state governments and makes sure the user is updated with travel options.
Road trips seem a safe getaway but what if your car has a breakdown? GoMechanic is India’s largest network of car service centres operating across almost all major cities in the country. The Bangalore-based app offers a hassle-free car service experience at the convenience of a tap. The app shows you the nearest service centres and, even better, provides a roadside assistance service so that you don’t have to worry about wandering streets in search of a mechanic. Make online payments and keep up the social distancing.
Social distancing tool by Google
Want to know how to keep a social distance? @Google has released #Sodar, a tool that lets you find out who is within 2 metres of you. Basic, but very handy in these times!https://t.co/L3xC2FuOFp— Nimish Dubey (@nimishdubey) May 29, 2020
There might come situations where you are forced to be close to people while travelling. Wearing a mask, washing your hands regularly, and social distancing is the way to go, but the last step can be tricky. Google has released a handy augmented reality tool that makes this a lot easier. Sodar, is a social distancing tool that uses augmented reality to map the space around you, superimposing a two-meter radius circle on the view from your camera. There’s no app required, all one needs to do is open Google from an android device and launch the Sodar tool.
Keeping social distance is fine but what if you could know if people were safe to be around? Rokid, a technology company specialising in robotics and AI development, had been producing Rokid Glass, augmented-reality eyewear, since May 2019. However, as the pandemic struck, the company's researchers decided to add a new feature to it, fever detection. Their new Rokid glasses aim to kill two birds—temperature detection and social distancing—with one pair of AI-powered spectacles. The glasses use infrared sensor and camera, allowing wearers to essentially 'see' the temperature of up to 10 people simultaneously. The glasses are also available on the international market at a hefty price tag of $6,999. It’s not pocket-friendly but it sure seems like a handy superpower to have in these times!
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