In addition to mobile applications on smartphones (the official French application is expected in early June), various technologies are called in to help in an attempt to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
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. Aimed at stores and businesses, this camera is the adaptation of an already existing product which has been adapted to crowd analysis. How it works ? If the software detects people who are too close to each other, an audible warning is played via an Amazon Alexa-type voice assistant, to invite them to move away from each other. Stereolabs clarified that there is no facial recognition.
Cameras to control the wearing of the mask are currently being tested in Cannes, on the French Riviera, 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. Again, no facial recognition (it is prohibited in France in public space). This type of camera is used to obtain statistics on the wearing of the mask.
Another innovation: bracelets that alert when you 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 lights up 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 at Covid-19 (or rather “Covid-19, as we say in Quebec), the manager has the option of going back up the history of contacts to warn other people who have been in contact with him and who may have been contaminated. These connected bracelets are an alternative to mobile applications, especially for people who do not have smartphones.
Otherwise, to ensure respect for social distancing, we can also count on robots, as in Singapore where the Spot dog robot, from the American company Boston Dynamics, patrols in the parks by broadcasting prevention messages. However, this gives a little side Black mirror. Not sure that we are ready to accept this in France!