Amazon has introduced its ‘Distance Assistant’ technology to fulfilment centres and delivery stations in Australia, following a successful rollout in the US, India and select European countries.

Designed to bolster preventative safety measures, the technology leverages Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR) and Machine Learning (ML) to remind people to maintain social distancing in real-time through visual cues and sensors.

‘Distance Assistant’ tracks individual movements while workers are in front of the camera and gauge their physical distance from others. Similar to ‘self-service’ radar speed check mechanism that reminds drivers on Australian roads to slow down by displaying their speed on a screen.

Amazon’s technology provides team members with immediate visual feedback via a monitor, camera, and local computing device without recording, storing, or transmitting the images.

As individuals walk past the camera, the monitor displays a live video feed with visual cues to show associates if they are within two metres of one another. The on-screen indicators remind associates to maintain appropriate distance from those around them. Individuals remaining two metres apart are highlighted with green circles, while those who are closer than two metres are highlighted in yellow and then red circles. 

Amazon Australia director of operations, Craig Fuller said with a safety-first approach, the company has been investing in scalable technology solutions to prioritise team safety.

“We are pleased to introduce this global innovation in Australia. Social distancing is a learned behaviour and ‘Distance Assistant’ will continue to enhance our safety practices and empower our team to improve social distancing,” he said.

Amazon has open sourced the software behind the technology to allow Australian individuals and businesses to get up and running with just a computer and camera.