Safe Queue: enhanced social distancing with app-based virtual lines
A simple and secure COVID-19 solution that has benefits well beyond the global pandemic.
One of the bigger impacts on us as a society has been how we social distance when waiting in line for a service, whether that is visiting a grocery store or picking up a prescription. Enter Safe Queue, a simple app from developer and entrepreneur Dave Chura from Los Angeles, California, that takes the pain out of this process.
While you are at home, you can use the app to find the local establishment you need to visit, for example, a pharmacy. After you get within 1000 feet of your destination, Safe Queue uses your GPS location data to put you in a virtual queue. You can stay a safe distance away from the location, even remaining in your car while tracking your spot in line. When it’s your turn, you can approach the pharmacy, and the person operating the door can confirm your entry based on a QR code issued by the Safe Queue app. You can then enter the pharmacy without ever having to physically wait in queue. The app is built on simplicity and privacy. At no point is any personal information collected. There is no need to log in, and no personal details are passed to the establishment that you are visiting. As Dave Chura points out:
“So you don’t need to sign up for anything. You don’t need to volunteer any information. As I said, I’m somewhat of a privacy advocate. You just need to be near the store, and then the store will let you in when it’s your turn. That’s what makes it easy.”
Answering Lady Gaga’s call to step up during COVID-19 crisis
Dave Chura first heard about Call for Code after seeing Lady Gaga ask developers to help fight COVID-19 on a local news broadcast. He then explored the functionality of the Call for Code Community Cooperation starter kit and over a period of a month worked on developing the minimum viable product (MVP). The Safe Queue solution uses IBM® Cloud Foundry for web app hosting, HERE technologies for geolocation, and IBM Cloudant to store data. The MVP of Safe Queue has been selected for early deployment support by IBM and its ecosystem.
Initially, Dave Chura’s start-up Enclayve can support paying for the cloud services and the back end. The longer-term goal is to have businesses see the value in this simple app and finance this to simplify the queuing experience for their customers. Safe Queue potentially has uses far beyond the COVID-19 safe distancing regulations. Because of its simplicity, it can help anywhere we need to queue without a defined timed appointment, such as waiting to get on a ride at a theme park or even cutting out the line at the deli counter in a grocery store.