Smart cameras, connected bracelets, robots … Technology at the service of the fight against Covid-19

In addition to mobile applications on smartphones (the official French application is expected in early June), various technologies are called in to try to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

A camera to monitor the distance between people

A 3D camera capable of measuring the distance between people in real time to guarantee the famous social distancing. This is what the French start-up StereoLabs offers. Intended for shops and businesses, this camera is an adaptation of a product that already existed and which has been adapted for crowd analysis. How it works ? If the software detects people too close to each other, an audible warning is broadcast via a voice assistant such as Amazon Alexa, to invite them to move away from each other. Stereolabs clarifies that there is no facial recognition.

Cameras to control the wearing of the mask

Cameras to control the wearing of the mask are currently being tested in Cannes, on the Côte d’Azur, and in certain stations of the Paris metro. These are cameras coupled with an image recognition program developed by the French start-up Daktalab, which is able to distinguish people wearing masks from those who do not. There too, no facial recognition (this is prohibited in France in public spaces). This type of camera is used to obtain statistics on the wearing of the mask.

Bracelets for social distancing

Another innovation: bracelets that alert when we stand too close to each other. They are used in particular by dockers in the port of Antwerp, in Belgium (Rombit), and in companies in Quebec (Videotron). The principle: the bracelet vibrates and turns on as soon as you are within 2 meters of other people wearing the same bracelet. No need for a smartphone or geolocation. However, if an employee is declared positive for Covid-19 (or rather to “the” Covid-19, as we say in Quebec), the manager has the possibility of going up the history of the contacts to warn the other people who were in contact with it and which may have been contaminated. These connected bracelets are an alternative to mobile applications, especially for people who do not have smartphones.

Robots for compliance with instructions

Otherwise, to ensure respect for social distancing, we can also count on robots, as in Singapore where the robot-dog Spot, from the American company Boston Dynamics, patrols the parks by broadcasting prevention messages. However, it gives a little side Black Mirror. Not sure that we are ready to accept this in France!

The Straits Times
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