Waiting in the long lines that stretch around your local grocery store can be rather unnerving these days. But thanks to a new app, getting your groceries during the pandemic may soon become an easier and safer chore.
Called SafeQueue, the app is one of the winning solutions of the Call for Code Global Challenge — an innovation challenge set up by IBM with the aim of encouraging innovators to come up with useful tech solutions that can help communities affected by COVID-19.
The app is designed to allow stores to manage the flow of customers digitally so that customers can wait inside their cars or in a nearby park until it’s time to shop.
SafeQueue is GPS-based and knows when you’re within 1,000 feet of a store with the technology-enabled. As soon as you get close enough, you tap on a big green indicator that puts you in a virtual line, allowing you to park your car or go wait in a safe place until your number comes up. You don’t have to register to use the service.
Stores will manage their lines through the app, and customers will get a notification when they’re at the front of the line. Both customers and grocery store workers will get more protection from one another.
As more stores begin to reopen and the six-foot economy expands, the app can also be used at other retailers, and it eventually could be used at locations such as polling places. IBM is currently helping with the final steps of getting the app running, including connecting with major retailers that most need it now so that it can be available as quickly as possible.