Free mask compliance app powered by biometrics from SAFR by RealNetworks launched
A partnership has been announced between RealNetworks and the COVID-19 International Research Team to bring the latter’s software product MaskCheck, which is powered by SAFR from RealNetworks, to smartphone users around the world.
MaskCheck runs on Android and iOS devices, and provides a free mask compliance app, along with a service and data platform to help communities and businesses operate more safely. It delivers accurate compliance data in real time, according to the announcement.
Mask detection takes less than one second, according to a video accompanying the news.
Running on a tablet, MaskCheck detects faces as people walk past and determines if they are wearing a mask, and doing so properly. The software provides visual feedback to encourage proper precautions, and aggregates non-personally identifiable information (non-PII) to submit the data to a public health data repository. Data collected includes location and venue type, and non-PII demographic details.
It also offers mask compliance data for free use by concerned parties under a free creative common license, accessed anywhere through API calls, presenting the data with a visualization map.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) caught up with Asian counterparts by publishing a scientific brief recommending the use of non-medical masks to reduce viral transmission of COVID-19 in November, and followed up with a stronger argument for generalized mask use in early-December.
The COVID-19 International Research Team is a collaborative effort founded by three doctors to use a “large consortium open science model” to quickly improve understanding on COVID-19 and develop pandemic mitigation strategies and technologies.
“Together we believe that one of the fastest ways to stop the spread of the coronavirus is for everyone to simply wear a face mask,” asserts RealNetworks Founder and CEO Rob Glaser. “It is our joint hope that thousands of locations worldwide will soon quickly deploy MaskCheck. This will encourage use of face masks and provide data that will help municipalities and businesses understand what is actually happening in their locations and communities, will inform both private actions and policy making, and will help make the world safer.”
The partners say the solution is important at this juncture due to the lack of reliable and regularly updated information on mask compliance, which can help inform the decisions of policymakers and public health officials, as well as employers and business owners, and even the general public.