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Concerned about social distancing? Satellite technology and AI can help with that.

1 April 2020

A UK start-up company Lanterne, has developed, a free app that will help us observe ‘social distancing’ more effectively in our collective effort to break the transmission rate of the coronavirus, and ultimately save lives.

Lanterne’s ‘Crowdless’ app will help people make informed decisions and navigate more safely as they carry out their essential tasks, providing real-time live data on the busyness of essential places that people need to visit, such as supermarkets and pharmacies. 

At the European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre United Kingdom (ESA BIC UK), the company is using GPS satellite data and AI technologies, in combination with data available from Google and crowdsourced information, to inform users in real time whether essential destinations are busy. The technology will enable people to decide whether or not it is a good time to visit these places, and if one is particularly crowded, users are presented with less crowded alternatives nearby. 

Crowdless is the brainchild of Lanterne co-founders Sebastian Mueller, Alex Barnes and Yohan Iddawela who were already using satellite technology at the ESA BIC UK to help people in conflict zones to navigate safely.Yohan Iddawela said: "The mission of our social enterprise, Lanterne, is to use data to improve safety and promote economic development. As a result, we wanted to see what we could do with our skillset to help people out at such a trying time. We decided we could build a free platform to help people with social distancing. 

For the full version, see the UKRI website.

Last updated: 21 April 2020

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