Artificial Intelligence: Sightbit’s AI System Watches Over Beaches For Drowning Risks

June 29, 2020 | Artificial Intelligence, News

Lifeguards get danger alerts from Sightbit’s system.

Beaches across the world are hard-put to cope with the task of protecting swimmers from drowning and risky, rip currents. Unattended children and elderly people in medical emergencies are other risks that lifeguards need to watch over. This is a difficult task on crowded beaches, even with alert guards scanning the beach with binoculars. Israeli startup Sightbit has innovated AI to help keep beaches safe from accidents and drownings. (Venture Beat)


Sightbit, a startup in Israel, received pre-seed funding from Cactus Capital VC Fund. Cactus is a venture capital fund established by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) for financing startups launched by its alumni.

The company’s AI software, which has been trained on a huge array of photo still images, runs with standard cameras available off-the-shelf.

The AI system can:

  • Conduct a risk survey to assess beach conditions and the number of lifeguards required
  • Identify struggling swimmers at risk of drowning
  • Use predictive analytics to identify probable risk
  • Flag preventive actions

Not a Substitute for lifeguards

Sightbit’s system is not intended as a substitute or replacement for lifeguards. It acts instead as support and an additional safety measure to augment a lifeguard’s vision.

“For the short-term, at guarded beaches, Sightbit is simply an assistant to the lifeguard to help them do their jobs even better,” said Sightbit cofounder and CEO Netanel Eliav to VentureBeat. “No lifeguard can watch all swimmers, all the time — but Sightbit can. And lifeguards cannot always see swimmers far off to the side of the tower.”

Lifeguards can get a warning on their monitor – usually as a flashing box – and the type of hazard. By clicking on the alert he can command the system to zoom in and pinpoint the exact location of the problem.

Related Story:  How AI, Drones, U-Cal and Salesforce Watch Out for Sharks

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