AI Hub Singapore creates COVID-19 monitoring app

By William Girling
In an effort to accelerate Singapores economic recovery from COVID-19, AI Hub has reportedly created an app to monitor social distancing. With the succ...

In an effort to accelerate Singapore’s economic recovery from COVID-19, AI Hub has reportedly created an app to monitor social distancing.

With the successful long-term victory over coronavirus hinging on well-implemented testing, tracking and tracing, technology certainly has a strong part to play in any eventual solution.

Acknowledging this, tech innovators AI Hub Singapore have designed an AI (artificial intelligence) based application which can easily run on a smartphone.

Called the ‘SafeDistancer’, the app utilises the company’s software to detect and measure how far other people are using the phone’s camera. If someone comes too close, the device will then emit an alarm to alert the user.

Innovating with AI

Committed to moving AI beyond its sci-fi preconceptions and even past its routine usage in automation, AI Hub is exploring ways to make everyday life easier, simpler and more productive. 

The SafeDistancer represents a step forward in ‘edge computing’ - wherein analysis is performed on the device itself - for the company, which utilises advanced machine learning algorithms, image recognition and data analytics.


Other solutions developed by the company include AI Smart Vision (realtime image processing), AI SmartLanguage (computer language processing) and AI SmartPrediction (forecasting).

“At AI Hub, we believe that businesses and people stand to reap great benefit by tapping AI to help them. We bring together AI technologies that solve a range of business challenges, including in marketing and operations,” says the company website.

“AI enables teams to focus on the aspects of work that are less repetitive and more interesting, enhancing business performance as well as team morale.”

Facilitating the return to work

Although the concept might provoke alarm with some over perceived breaches of privacy, AI Hub state that this has been addressed in two ways: edge computing means that analysis stays on the device and isn’t shared externally, and the app neither recognises faces nor saves data.  

Aware that such a device will likely be welcomed by the business community, Chong Choo, Director of Ecosystem at AI Hub said, “Our customers and partners are looking forward to going back to their workplaces and we are happy to be able to help them do this in a safe and responsible way."

The possibilities opened by the company’s innovation are exciting, especially if the technology can be extracted and implemented beyond mobile devices. The eventual end of lockdown could depend on apps like SafeDistancer.

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