On Thursday March 12 the coronavirus crisis exploded in Belgium. That same day, a team of AE innovation experts started to explore how technology could help prevent COVID-19 contamination among colleagues.
One of the precautionary measures the Flemish government released was the tip to avoid touching your face. That sparked an idea among the AE team. Instead of a simple communication, they decided to build something that would have a higher impact.
In less than 24 hours they created Face.Awaere, an online tool that tracks how often someone touches their face while working at their computer. As such, the team used technology to help face the challenge coronavirus presents and to help avoid contamination among their colleagues.
Why not touching your face matters
Every time you touch your mouth, eyes or nose, you increase the chance of coronavirus entering your body. Frequently washing or disinfecting your hands is not sufficient, because you’re constantly touching things without realizing you’re doing so. Coronavirus could be present on any of these objects. And afterwards your hands touch your face… about 15-25 times per hour, according to various scientific reports.
How Face.Awaere works
Once you’ve opened the tool, you can keep it running in the background while you go about your tasks. Using facial recognition and machine learning, two innovative technologies that are often used in data science and analytics contexts, Face.Awaere recognizes the gestures you make with your hands and your face. All through your webcam. Each time your hands and face touch, a subtle sound rings to make you aware of the gesture. That’s how you gradually unlearn doing so.
With Face.Awaere, AE succeeded in increasing awareness of face touching across our organization. We’re happy to share the tool with you.
Using Awaere yourself?
Feel free! Awaere is fully GDPR-compliant and doesn’t story any personal data. Use the tool at face.awaere.be and help prevent COVID-19 while working.