Shapes AI introduces social distancing solution for COVID-19


This article is brought to you by Retail Technology Review: Shapes AI introduces social distancing solution for COVID-19.

With the global coronavirus pandemic continuing to damage health systems and economies worldwide, there is a desperate need to start transitioning out of lockdown and reopen communities and cities in the safest way possible. Shapes AI, a computer vision and artificial intelligence company, has launched a platform to support this transition by tracking and monitoring social distancing and the wearing of masks.

Recent reports and predictions point to social distancing and wearing of masks needing to be part of our ‘new normal’ for a while to come. But implementing and monitoring these new behaviours is not straightforward, as authorities and now businesses, have discovered over recent weeks. To facilitate this, Shapes AI has leveraged its proprietary computer vision technology to automatically assess the extent to which these preventive measures are being observed and to highlight any hotspots of potential danger.

From parks, shops and restaurants, to schools, airports and hospitals, we will have to observe these measures everywhere if we are to go about our lives again. The Shapes AI solution can be utilised by authorities to help monitor and enforce the behaviours in streets and public spaces. It can also be a gamechanger for businesses as they deploy new protocols to regain consumer confidence and protect their staff. The insights can even help inform the public of how the measures are being adhered to where they live, as well as when and where they might safely go out.

The company’s breakthrough technology reasons over video feeds to understand the human behaviours and events taking place. Through this, it is able to monitor the extent of both social distancing and use of face coverings or masks. It uses these elements, amongst others, to compute the efficacy of these measures in a particular zone. Shapes AI is also able to provide data driven insights of how these measures play out over time, providing a ‘Social Distancing Index’ that compares how ‘safe’ different premises, areas or cities are. 

“We have to accept social distancing and wearing of face coverings as a critical part of our everyday lives for a while to come, if we are to safely transition out of lockdown and back to some semblance of normality,” says Seena Rejal, CEO and Founder of Shapes AI. “In these unprecedented times, stakeholders at all levels need tools to be able to adapt to the ‘new normal’ and to do so quickly. We believe our solution can provide a key part of the infrastructure needed to allow communities and economies to open up again, and to do so as safely and sustainably as possible.” 

Shapes AI’s technology analyses the macro behaviours of people and crowds, meaning it does not incorporate any element of facial recognition. The technology can be deployed as a turnkey solution, including cameras, as well as sitting atop existing video infrastructure and seamlessly integrating with video management systems and workflows. 

The company has pledged to offer its platform at cost to institutions and organisations on the front line of the fight against COVID-19.

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