For some years I taught classes at a martial arts center. With students of all shapes and sizes, you get really good at sizing up other people's bodies through their motions, and I prided myself on being able to deduce who had had knee surgery, who had tight hips, who carried their stress in their shoulders, etc. and devising compensatory drills.
That analytical skill, like my bagful of old CAD tricks, has been rendered obsolete by better technology. A Texas-based company called Invisible AI has developed a "vision platform" that analyzes human bodies in motion. Their software can look at camera footage and work out the difference between torsos, limbs and joints, and look for red flags.
Red flags for what? Targeted at manufacturing, the software can certainly tell who's slacking off on the assembly line, but the company's stated aims are to:
- "Prevent process mistakes"
- "Analyze manual work across 1000s of cycles to continuously optimize operations"
- "Identify and prevent high-stress injuries"
Given that last goal, I would've thought Invisible AI's target market would have been professional sports, where teams and sponsors invest heavily in wringing peak performance out of their athletes. In fact I'll be surprised if they're not a future target of this industry.
In the meantime, Invisible AI's already got plenty of big-name clients: Siemens, Fuji, Nvidia and Toyota are all implementing their systems.
Someone this has really got to burn up is Andy Serkis, who had to wear that crazy jumpsuit to have his motions tracked to play Gollum. Workers at Invisible-AI-enabled factories can just show up in their regular uniforms.