How security cameras are developing AI cameras to measure social distancing and mask compliance

2020-05-19

While the demand for thermal cameras with fever detection capabilities has skyrocketed during the coronavirus pandemic, video surveillance companies are hard at work on systems that could help stores and other businesses measure social distancing compliance and conduct crowd control.

According to reporting from Fast Company, at least three companies are developing ways to outfit traditional camera systems with artificial intelligence that would make it possible to alert employees when people are standing too close to each other — closer than six feet apart — or not wearing a required mask.

People-counting cameras have been on the market for years, particularly for retail businesses seeking to track how customers navigate their stores. But these systems, including one in the works at Motorola Solutions, would go a step further and identify social distancing behaviors so that shoppers could come back to a store when it was less crowded.

“You already are hearing about things like ‘Waze for occupancy and people movement,’ as opposed to vehicle movements—not just self-reporting, but automated reporting on traffic information of people in different indoor locations and public areas,” Mahesh Saptharishi, the CTO of Motorola Solutions, told Fast Company. “I think that’s just going to be more common until people feel safe enough.”

Hypothetically, these surveillance systems would also help managers and building planners figure out which parts of their space are more susceptible to social distancing issues and place more reminders in those areas. Motorola and tech company Camio are focusing mostly on offices and factories where managers are concerned about their employees working too closely to each other, but could expand into more public spaces as well.

securitytoday.com, 19 May 2020
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