Annals of Mask Wearing

I was in Amazon Rekognition this afternoon–their ”image recognition as a service” product–and notice a new “PPE detection” tab. I uploaded a masked photo of myself to try it out and, sure enough, it reported a 99.9% degree of confidence that I was wearing a mask. It also reported only 88.4% that my mask was covering my nose; I have a large nose, and a lot of it was showing, so I don’t blame the robots.

Screen shot from Amazon Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) detection console showing analysis of a photo of me wearing a mask, and confirming its detection.

The mask I’m wearing, one I wrote about in October when I purchased it, was a Medium Rare-brand; it served me well until this weekend when the flexible wire nose piece finally snapped in two from metal fatigue. Unable to abide the glasses-fogging the resulted, and with The Cook’s Edge closed on Sundays, rather than replacing it I purchased two new masks, from Bentley, the luggage shop in the Charlottetown Mall of all places. If you can’t trust your luggage supplier to keep you health, who exactly can you trust?


Ton Zijlstra's picture
Ton Zijlstra on January 21, 2021 - 15:35 Permalink

Interesting that the algorithm is less confident that it is seeing a face, than that the detected face is wearing a face mask.

Jarek's picture
Jarek on January 21, 2021 - 17:08 Permalink

I presume that 99.9% for "Face cover detected" means "assuming this is a face, is the face wearing a mask?". Then it makes sense for the face itself to be lower confidence - it doesn't quite look like most "normal" (non-respiratory-illness-pandemic) face, being half covered with a mask.

Timothy Cullen's picture
Timothy Cullen on January 22, 2021 - 14:02 Permalink

We've hacked coffee bags to acquire new wires for facemasks. Take the wire closure (usually two tiny wires in a 1/2-inch wide plastic strip) and peel it off the coffee bag. Trim the plastic away from the wire. Voila! Two wires for mask repair!

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on January 22, 2021 - 14:04 Permalink

Cullen ingenuity at work. Thank you.