Amazon India today announced the deployment of ‘Distance Assistant’ across its operational sites in the country, following the successful rollout of the technology in the US and a few other countries. The AI powered innovation will remind associates while on site to maintain a minimum 6 feet distance from others by providing social distancing feedback, in real-time. With social distancing continuing to be a preventive safety measure amid the pandemic, the smart solution is another step to ensure safety of tens of thousands of its associates in the buildings.
‘Distance Assistant’ leverages artificial intelligence, augmented reality and machine learning to track individual movements and gauge their physical distance from others. Similar to the radar speed check mechanism, the innovation creates a magic-mirror-like experience to provide associates with immediate visual feedback via a monitor, camera, and local computing device when moving in an Amazon India site. The standalone unit uses machine learning models to differentiate people from their surroundings. Combined with depth sensors, the algorithm creates an accurate distance measurement between associates giving them proximity indicators on the monitor.
The self-contained standalone units will be stationed across entrances and high people traffic areas across Amazon India’s Fulfilment Centres, Sort Centres and Delivery Stations. As people walk past the camera, the monitor will display a live video feed with visual cues to show if associates are within 6 feet of one another. The on-screen indicators have been designed to remind associates to maintain appropriate distance from those around them. Individuals remaining 6 feet apart are highlighted with green circles, while those who are closer are highlighted in red.
Dr. Karuna Shankar Pande, Director – Fulfilment Centers and Safety, Amazon India, said “With a safety-first approach, we have been investing in scalable technology solutions to prioritize safety of our teams at all times. We are pleased to introduce this global innovation across all our sites in India. ‘Distance Assistant’ will continue to enhance our safety practices and also empower our efforts to implement additional measures to improve social distancing. As our associates continue to deliver smiles to customers, we remain steadfast in our commitment to safeguarding their health and will consistently expand our health and safety processes for our people.”
Amazon India places tremendous value and focus on the well-being and safety of its people across its operations network and this innovative solution is the most recent addition to the company’s safety measures. The company has already implemented close to 100 changes in its operational processes, including process flow changes, mandatory wearing of masks at all times, and daily temperature checks, among others.