Computer Vision is one of the most cost-effective and scalable solutions for monitoring social distancing, PPE compliance and contact tracing. Implementing this advanced technology can help ensure employee health and safety standards are met during this time of transition back to the workplace. AI experts Konrad Konarski and Alex Labarces discuss Computer Vision for business continuity and return-to-work initiatives and also compare alternatives to this technology. Konrad represents the U.S.-based AI Innovation Consortium and Alex represents the Canadian AI Association. Get a recap of the Virtual 30 discussion below or view the recording above.
What is Computer Vision?
Computer Vision is a technology that's powered by AI and interprets information from images or video. Computer Vision can identify objects and make decisions based on the ability to interpret an environment using neural networks.
Computer Vision for COVID-19 Workplace Safety
Computer Vision can keep workplaces safe by intelligently monitoring visual data in the workplace, including distance between employees (social distancing), amount of time spent near other people (exposure time), and where and who employees were near in a given work day (contact tracing). This data can drastically reduce the risk of spreading the Coronavirus within a work environment.
What Steps is Canada Taking for Post-COVID-19 Preparedness?
COVID-19 has taken a toll on Canadian infrastructures, and the government is focused on mitigating those effects and eliminating the spread of the virus. Measures include apps and Computer Vision to monitor and track how guidelines are being upheld. On an organizational level, Computer Vision is used to learn how to retain staff and rearrange environments instead of eliminating individuals.
The technology alerts management when a violation occurs, but also shares proactive measures to keep violations from happening in the first place to limit risks.
Alternative Technologies to Monitor Safe Workplace Procedures
In the U.S. and Canada, some forms of monitoring are still conducted manually. Employees watch live video streams or manually call workers to survey them about their whereabouts. Other technologies include apps within Bluetooth or WiFi. The reality of those technologies are that they work if you're violating a procedure, but they can be misleading if there are multiple floors or walls separating people. Workers might be physically close, but safely separated by walls or floors.
Compared to alternative technologies, Computer Vision can share more precise data in a less intrusive way to enforce and retain workers. The contrast between the technologies also refers to privacy. With a social distancing mobile application, employees are taking their phones home with them, which means they can still be tracked after they leave the workplace.
Another alternative are IoT devices, which are susceptible to battery shortages and can be less accurate inside an office space environment. It's also not as cost-effective for scaling to large companies.
How Expensive is Computer Vision?
V-Soft offers an out-of-box solution for less than $10,000, complete with analytics that can be up and running in less than a week. The price, however, depends on size, location and any specifics you may need.