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AI tech startup to launch ‘virtual lifeguard’ for children in U.S.

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An Israeli startup has gained $6 million in venture capital funding for its Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered detection technology, aiming to take residential pool safety for children a notch above.

An Israeli startup has gained $6 million in venture capital funding for its Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered detection technology, aiming to take residential pool safety for children in the U.S. a notch above.

The technology goes beyond the ability of current products in the market which can only tell if someone has entered a pool, claims the startup founder and CEO, Shadie Bisharat. Targeting the U.S. market, where according to CDC, the greatest number of fatal accidental drownings happen in children under 14 in home swimming pools, the tech aims to offer an extra layer of protection—Bisharat claims safety rails around pools have not been as effective as hoped for.

The tech relies on sensors, and above-pool and underwater cameras to continuously monitor activity in the pool for signs of and movements indicative of drowning using AI and computer vision. The device is coupled with a home unit to deliver alerts and an app which allows a peek into the pool.

Coral worked on a three-year pilot run before launching the product called Mylo, referred to as a “virtual lifeguard” by the company. It has been exposed to four years’ worth of data composed of hundreds of hours of videos showing real people in distress in water, as well as drowning simulations.

According to Israel Times, Bisharat told in an interview: “Mylo can detect two types of drownings. One where people sink to the bottom—like young children—and one where they show signs of distress, or pre-drowning.”

He stresses the tech does not seek to replace the need for close adult supervision for children, but works as an extra safety layer, capable of quickly alerting them of danger through the app.

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