The company says it has deployed the technology in a handful of its facilities, with plans to roll out “hundreds” of more units “over the next few weeks.” It says employees like “getting immediate visual feedback,” but didn’t provide data that shows how effective the measure is at preventing the spread of the coronavirus. Amazon also plans to open-source the software so that other companies can use it as well.
While Amazon’s use of AI and AR is interesting here, it may be the latest example of a company attempting to apply a technological solution to what is ultimately a policy issue. A recent lawsuit filed by workers at the company’s Staten Island warehouse accused Amazon of failing to follow CDC and New York state public health coronavirus guidelines. The lawsuit also said the company discourages employees from practicing “basic hygiene” if it means those workers need to spend a moment away from their stations.