With the current quarantines, lockdowns and shelter in place orders, governments, businesses and all people have had to adapt drastically during these hard times. According to recent numbers provided by the Department of Labor of the United States, more than 16 million Americans are out of jobs and applying for unemployment the past 3 weeks. This trend is not only in America, but with most other countries as well.

These restrictions are being extended leading to permanent business closures and downsizing which leads to further employee layoffs. If restrictions are extended further, the economical downfalls will be even more astronomical. However, governments are reluctant to lift these restrictions and allow businesses to open up because of the fear of further spreading the virus leading to subsequent COVID-19 spikes.

Solution - Spaced

Spaced is an accurate, in-depth solution to empower people to slow and eventually stop the spread of COVID-19 by being able to see anonymous locations of people to educate their decisions as they meet their essential needs in travel. Using tech made by MIT (private-kit), Spaced expands the concept and crowdsource location data to provide people with safer routes and times on doing tasks that require going out of the house like grocery shopping, taking a walk, etc.

Spaced gives users the information need to make decisions on when to go to a grocery store by displaying popular times to avoid the grocery store and gives users directions to get to the grocery store with avoiding the most amount of interactions with other people using real-time data.

The whole app - including the server code - is open-sourced.

Privacy is one of the biggest concerns, so the only data that is being shared is location (latitude and longitude), time, and a unique ID that is programmatically generated when the user starts the app for the first time. The unique ID is only used to link location to a user but does not give any information about the user.

Furthermore, Spaced allows users to define a home and work location where the app will not record location data to protect users privacy. When a user sets a home or office location, there is a 2500 sq meter square that is drawn with the location in the center where no data is being recorded. User’s home and work locations are only stored locally on the user’s device and will never be shared.

Additional App Features

Popular Times (Pending)

  • Provide users with popular times of places
  • Requires to have enough data from users or Google API usage (expensive)

Directions to destination with least contact (Pending)

  • Get directions to a location with the least amount of contact with other people
  • Will be for walking directions only
  • Will need Foursquare Places data + user data

Reporting incorrect data (Pending)

  • Users will be able to report if the data at where they are located is incorrect. IE: User is at Whole Foods, app says there are 10 people there but there are obviously more.
  • Supports law enforcement monitoring

Exporting personal, anonymous data for 3rd party use.

  • A user is able to export their own travel and location data from when they started logging for 3rd party use. IE: Hospitals.
  • This data is saved on user’s device for offline usage / sharing
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