Naga duo develop mobile app to help maintain social distance

Puhvo Puro (left) and Zenwang Konyak (right)
Puhvo Puro (left) and Zenwang Konyak (right)

Hopes to publish the App on Playstore very soon 


Morung Express News
Kohima | June 25

Two Naga youth Puhvo Puro and Zenwang Konyak has developed a mobile application that will help citizens in maintaining social distance. With social distancing being one of the most important norms to stop the spread of virus, the duo decided to initiate and incorporate technology solutions to fight the present pandemic.

Known as the ‘Social Distance’ (SD) App, 23 years old Zenwang Konyak explains that the app works when two or more individuals install the mobile application in their cell phones, wherein if the users comes in close contact with each other, certain frequencies are released from the cell phones giving an alarming signal or sound to the individual notifying that the person is very close to each other. A convenient feature of the app is that it functions offline.

As part of a lockdown innovation challenge, the duo has been able to develop the app together via long distance, where Puhvo is currently based in Pfutsero and Zenwang, based in Mon. In between phone calls and WhatsApp discussions, the duo was able to develop the app in about three weeks.

The main objective in developing the app is to help people maintain social distance, says 23 years old Puhvo Puro, who has been working on the coding. Puro is a Graduate in Physics from Kohima Science College, Jotsoma who is currently teaching Science at Nazareth School Pfutsero. Meanwhile, 23 years old Zenwang Konyak is currently pursuing M. Sc from Nagaland University, Lumami. Both from Science background, the duo took the challenge to learn programming and coding during the Statewide lockdown in order to develop the app.

"The function of the app is simple. When two or more person install the app on their device and when they move close to each other less than 1 meter(the distance can be customize), they will get a notification sound indicating that they are not maintaining social distance. The app works by detecting and generating frequency consecutively in one second interval," says Puro.

Further explaining the technical details, Puro notes that the app has been made to detect a frequency of 15000 hz and 8000 hz.

"All the phones does not have the same detecting sensitivity, some phones struggles to detect higher frequency so to make the app more accurate when one phone detects the frequency of 15000 hz it will also produce or generate another 8000 hz. This 15000 hz is not very audible and some phone fails to detect it if it's not very close to each other. 8000 hz is more audible than the 15000 hz. If a device fails to detect 15000 hz, it will be able to detect the 8000hz," explains Puro adding that the distance can be adjusted by increasing or decreasing intensity of the sound.

According to Puro, the intensity has been calculated with respect to distance, and with a limit of one meter so that when another device with the same app come close in less than one meter, the notification sound/alarm can be heard.

The Social Distance app functions through sound waves, therefore the duo stated that there are some limitations."This entire system works on sound wave. However, this soundwave is disrupted sometimes, but we will be able to fix it with external mic," says Konyak.

With the microphone and the speaker being used for detecting and generating sound, the app is not very effective when kept inside the pocket or when the speaker or mic is covered, states Puro.

The duo hopes to publish the App on Playstore very soon. In the mean time, efforts are being made to clean the codes so that the app functions effectively, and to make it more user friendly. Extensive features such as COVID-19 status updates, health care tips and guidelines will be added to the app.