So, you’re following the rules. You stay at least 6 feet away from everyone you see. You’re washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, and even wearing glasses instead of contacts.

And then some jerk at the supermarket decides he can’t wait 10 more seconds to grab his milk, so he rudely pushes past you – likely ruining all your effort to stay safe in one sneezy moment.

Rude, right?! But let’s be honest, it’s also difficult to stand your ground. This social distancing thing is frustrating – some follow the rules, but others don’t… and it’s easy to forget.

Wouldn’t it be great if someone (or something) could watch over us… politely reminding everyone to keep a safe distance? It would sure help us all avoid those awkward confrontations, at least…

That’s the idea behind the SmartDome: a special security camera watches shoppers and alerts them when they’re too close to one another. It uses motion-tracking technology to do this – and when it finds a pair of people too close together, it’ll remind them with a friendly message.

What is the SmartDome?

The message that SmartDome reads can be customised, but most are simple reminders, such as: “For your safety, please maintain at least six feet of social distance.”

Developed by San Diego-based tech company Indyme, the SmartDome is another example of companies who are repurposing their core products to help us get through the COVID-19 crisis. The company’s product line is usually used for loss prevention and shopper engagement, but they realized the technology could quickly be adapted to help enforce social distancing.

“This health crisis demands that U.S. technology companies rapidly innovate solutions to assist in this dynamic and evolving situation,” said Indyme CEO Joe Budano in a statement.

“Our retail partners shared their health and safety challenges with us — we listened — and this simple and rapidly deployable solution promoting social distancing is the result.”

The SmartDome is already in use around the country, so don’t be surprised if a polite (yet robotic) voice starts giving you helpful reminders. Now, if only they could design one that lets you know when you missed a discount…

“Attention, shopper! Please take 6 steps back! Now, grab another box of that cereal – it’s buy one, get one free today!”