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Tech companies race to create social distancing surveillance tech to police the public

Big players in Japan and in the US are joining the race.

A Japanese tech company has developed a “fish bubble” to enforce social distancing. The fish bubble is the latest of weird technologies launched in an effort to police the post-corona-lockdown world.

A video posted by NHK News in Japan shows that Hitachi has developed a “fish bubble” to help with social distancing.

The technology uses sensors to detect the location of a person. Then it projects a 2-meter bubble (circle) around the person, with animated fish swimming inside. If a person comes too close to another, the fish escape the bubble, which is a warning that the person should change their position.

According to the promo video, the company hopes to commercialize the technology soon.

China is already working on integrating social distancing technology into its controversial and burdensome social credit score system. So, in the near future, Chinese residents might start accruing fines for breaking social distancing regulations.

Microsoft has also launched new technology that is supposed to help companies enforce social distancing and track workers and customers:

In a virtual event, Microsoft launched Ignite Spatial Analysis, which is part of Redmond’s Cognitive Services, machine learning services intended for everyday use that does not require a deep level of knowledge in machine learning and data science.

The AI is intended to help video surveillance systems to identify instances of people who are close together.

“Spatial Analysis is an advanced machine-learning model that aggregates data from multiple camera feeds,” said Bharat Sandhu, Microsoft’s Azure AI director of product marketing.

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