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The company’s latest innovation provides real-time social distancing feedback and we plan to open-source the technology. Amazon has launched an AI to maintain social distancing among its workers and to prevent the risk of contracting coronavirus among them. The ‘Distance Assistant’ is completely self-contained, by the way, so it can be easily moved around as needed, and quickly deployed anywhere. a new technology-driven by machine learning (ML) and augmented reality (AR) — which uses depth sensors to provide visual cues to workers, reminding them to stay six feet away from each other.
The concept was inspired by radar speed check signs, Amazon said. Distance Assistant uses a self-contained device requiring only a standard electrical outlet that can be deployed at building entrances and high visibility areas. Amazon did not say when the free open source software will be available.
The system is just one of many emerging from startups and big tech companies to keep people apart in high traffic areas found construction job sites, at building elevator lobbies and gathering areas outside of auditoriums and classrooms. Aiming to reduce any risk of contracting COVID-19 among its workers, Amazon on Tuesday launched a technology-aided system at its offices and warehouses to maintain social distancing.Those who are maintaining safe distance will be shown in green circles, whereas those who aren’t will be marked in red circles.
A camera tracks the employees’ movements, which are projected live on 50-inch screens placed within the premises. These screens are attached to the laptop and camera tracker. The employees who fail to comply with the social distancing norms appear circled in red rings on these screens, while those that do maintain the WHO-prescribed six-feet distance appear circled in green. These rings change colors as and when the employees move. Distance Assistant also uses camera footage in Amazon's buildings to help identify high-traffic areas.
As people walk past the camera, a monitor displays live video with visual overlays to show if associates are within 6 feet of one another. Individuals remaining 6 feet apart are highlighted with green circles, while those who are closer together are highlighted with red circles. Depth sensors in Distance Assistant help determine an accurate measurement between people, with the results displayed on the monitors so that people can correct their own distance. If workers are 6 feet or greater apart, a ring of green around each person appears on the screen, which turns red if they get closer than 6 feet. The data could also help companies design tactics to lower traffic in certain areas.
Individuals remaining 6 feet apart are highlighted with green circles, while those who are closer together are highlighted with red circles. The on-screen indicators are designed to remind and encourage associates to maintain an appropriate distance from others. The self-contained device requires only a standard electrical outlet and can be quickly deployed to building entrances and other high-visibility areas.
"Working backward from a concept of immediate visual feedback, and inspired by existing examples like radar speed check signs, our 'Distance Assistant' provides employees with live feedback on social distancing via a 50-inch monitor, a camera, and a local computing device," Amazon said. We are excited to open-source the software and AI behind this innovation so that anyone can create their own Distance Assistant. Individuals and businesses large and small can download the package at no cost and get up and running with just a computer and camera. This solution is just one of many ideas that have surfaced over the past few months. Knowing my colleagues and their drive, it will not be the last. Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our employees and we’ll continue to innovate to keep them as safe as possible.