Sudbury·TECH MATTERS

Sudbury tech expert offers tips to stay connected during COVID-19

Even though some COVID-19 pandemic restrictions are starting to be lifted, many continue to turn to online options to stay connected.

Aaron Langille says several options are available to keep communication going

Several options are available to keep in touch with people you can't physically see, including video chat. (Shutterstock)

Even though some COVID-19 pandemic restrictions are starting to be lifted, many continue to turn to online options to stay connected.

In the past, people would be forced to pick up the phone and make a call or sit down and write a letter to keep in touch.

Aaron Langille, who teaches computer science at Laurentian University in Sudbury, says the internet and social media have helped a lot. He says many are turning to video chatting, including using programs such as Zoom.

"It's very similar to Skype and a lot of other video chat programs that have been around for a long time," he said.

"There are new ones that have seemingly popped up that have probably been around for awhile but we're getting more exposure to them now that we're keeping relationships going at a distance, whether they're work relationships, or personal relationships or family relationships."

Langille says during the pandemic, technology is resulting in a push to reconnect with people

"We do feel more socially isolated," he said. "We're starting to feel that urge to reach out and apps, programs and technologies are making that pretty easy to do."

He says as long as you have an internet connection, you can have a conversation with someone else.

As for those who are romantically involved and living apart, Langille says there are "digital devices" as options.

Aaron Langille is a professor at Laurentian University in Sudbury. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

He says one example is a product called a Bond Bracelet. Each person is given a bracelet to wear that is connected to their phone. The other person has access to that technology.

"You can tap it and that sends a vibration or notice of vibration to your phone which then sends it to your significant other's phone which sends it to a corresponding bracelet on their wrist," he said.

"As far as you're concerned, tapping on your bracelet causes their bracelet to vibrate and lets them know you're thinking about them."

He says there are other examples as well, including a product featuring a ring instead of a bracelet. Langille says there are also app based programs as well.

"I think a lot of it is just to keep that sense of connection alive," he said.

Technology has been a big help for people in isolation trying to maintain relationships... whether it's with a partner, family, a friend, or a coworker. Our Tech Matters columnist Aaron Langille joined via Skype to talk about how people are using technology to stay connected. 6:56

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