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Pool Owners Take Up AI To Prevent Drownings

Homeowners and pool operators are turning to artificial intelligence for an extra layer of safety to prevent drownings in backyard and public pools. From a report: The detection systems, which use submerged cameras and a form of AI known as computer vision, analyze live videos of swimmers and send alerts if they spot a person who appears to be drowning. Jenny Naggatz, 33, of Gulf Breeze, Fla., installed an AI device from technology company Coral Detection Systems in her family’s pool to safeguard her two children, both of whom are under 4. Coral Detection’s triangle-shaped device sits in the corner of a pool with an attached camera hanging a few inches below the water surface. “It has definitely given me more peace of mind,” Ms. Naggatz said. “I’m just as careful around the water as I would be without it, but it’s just another layer of protection.”

The safety of young children around swimming pools remains a cause for concern, according to a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission report released last week. On average, 379 children under 15 drowned each year in pools, spas or hot tubs from 2015 through 2017, the most recent statistics available, and hit a peak of 395 in 2017, the commission said. Noting that most child drownings occur at home during the summer months, the commission urged caution given that Covid-19 measures had confined more families to their homes and delayed the opening of public pools. AI drowning-detection products are not intended to replace adult supervision or lifeguards, but rather to serve as an extra safeguard.

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