WearMask: Fast In-browser Face Mask Detection with Serverless Edge Computing for COVID-19

4 Jan 2021  ·  Zekun Wang, Pengwei Wang, Peter C. Louis, Lee E. Wheless, Yuankai Huo ·

The COVID-19 epidemic has been a significant healthcare challenge in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 infection is transmitted predominately by respiratory droplets generated when people breathe, talk, cough, or sneeze. Wearing a mask is the primary, effective, and convenient method of blocking 80% of all respiratory infections. Therefore, many face mask detection and monitoring systems have been developed to provide effective supervision for hospitals, airports, publication transportation, sports venues, and retail locations. However, the current commercial face mask detection systems are typically bundled with specific software or hardware, impeding public accessibility. In this paper, we propose an in-browser serverless edge-computing based face mask detection solution, called Web-based efficient AI recognition of masks (WearMask), which can be deployed on any common devices (e.g., cell phones, tablets, computers) that have internet connections using web browsers, without installing any software. The serverless edge-computing design minimizes the extra hardware costs (e.g., specific devices or cloud computing servers). The contribution of the proposed method is to provide a holistic edge-computing framework of integrating (1) deep learning models (YOLO), (2) high-performance neural network inference computing framework (NCNN), and (3) a stack-based virtual machine (WebAssembly). For end-users, our web-based solution has advantages of (1) serverless edge-computing design with minimal device limitation and privacy risk, (2) installation free deployment, (3) low computing requirements, and (4) high detection speed. Our WearMask application has been launched with public access at facemask-detection.com.

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