Sightbit, a Ben-Gurion University (BGU) startup, has developed a new AI system to help lifeguards save even more lives.
Founded in 2018 by BGU students Minna Shezaf, Netanel Eliav, Gadi Kolver, and Adam Bismut, Sightbit recently launched its first full-scale pilot program at Palmachim Beach, one of Israel’s most popular beaches.
While Israeli beaches usually have three lifeguards stationed at every tower, they are not always able to monitor everything at all times.
Sightbit’s goal is to create the first ‘smart’ beaches in Israel, powered by cutting-edge AI and computer vision tech that will make it easier to spot and prevent drowning victims.
“Sightbit is, in essence, an AI lifeguard – so our software acts as an additional lifeguard by flagging threats to swimmers,” says Shezaf, who is also the chief marketing officer of Sightbit.
Special cameras are used to film the beach’s swim areas and algorithms analyze the footage in real-time to flag incidences.
“I believe this is the first time AI deep learning technology has ever been used to save lives at the beach,” adds Kovler, Sightbit’s Chief Technology Officer.
According to the startup, the AI system maps swimmers’ locations, warns of potential drowning hazards, changes in sea data – such as unexpected waves and currents – and provides control over the movement of various populations in general, and young children in particular.
In addition to its real-time alerts, water hazards, and warnings to swimmers, Sightbit also provides crowding management solutions, updates on weather conditions, and offers estimates on how many lifeguards are needed on a given day to safely monitor swimmers.
Sightbit is now planning to expand their camera systems to areas where swimming is prohibited, in order to warn beach rescuers and first responders when an incident occurs, and ensure a rapid response time.
Image and content: Ben-Gurion University