This long period of lockdown has been testing for most, but 12-year-old Krishiv Shah from Syosset, New York, has been creative. While at home, he thought ahead and realized that while the buzz word everywhere has been social distancing, it would not always be possible, practically, to maintain a distance of 6 feet from people around you. All the roads and market places cannot be marked and most people are often unable to decipher how much distance should actually be maintained for prevention of the spread of the coronavirus.
So with his father in tow, Krishiv Shah, from South Woods Middle School, developed a social distancing app – a simple solution that will instantly let people know if they are actually following the social distancing guidelines as laid down by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Talking to us, he said, “We have all heard this term more than anything in these past few weeks – social distancing. It’s about keeping a safe distance from others to help stop the spread of COVID-19. During this crisis, everyone has been doing their part. I would like to thank the health care workers for being on the frontline to save lives. Additionally, people in the food and transportation industry and essential workers who have to go out on a daily basis and help provide for us.”
“A few weeks ago, I was talking to my dad and we were discussing a way how technology could help combat this virus. With some hard work during this quarantine period, we developed an app, called ‘Social Distancing.'”
“The app alerts you when you are in close proximity to another person using the same app. Our app has different settings that allow you to change the way you social distance. Proximity settings allow you to change how far you need to distance yourself from others. You can either distance yourself to the proximity of 3 feet or 6 feet. 6 feet is the default and recommended social distance for COVID-19.”
Elaborating further, Krishiv Shah said, “In the time settings you can allow when your app runs in the background and when it doesn’t. In the notification settings, there are two options you can select from. The first is the one time alert, which gives you a notification when you are in close proximity with another user. The second is the constant alert, which gives you a constant alarm until you return to a safe distance.”
But unfortunately, his effort to upload this app for public use has not been successful. “Apple has denied it because of their policy that states that apps about COVID-19 can only come from the government or medical organizations. Additionally, Apple and Google have announced that they would be releasing something similar to our app, but it won’t be out till next month.”
“I am ready to provide the source file to any government or medical organization at no cost if they want to publish this app to save as many lives as possible. That is our goal.”
We applaud Krishiv Shah for his effort and hope that he gets the recognition he deserves for developing the ‘Social Distancing’ app.