As Europe looks towards the future after lockdown, questions are being asked about how to keep people safe. Governments are treading a careful line between restarting economies and ‘normal lives’ and keeping us healthy without a resurgence of cases. This affects whole cities, and all the normal activities therein – from getting coffee on the way to work and boarding public transport, to shopping and eating out. But there are some technologies that they can turn to – innovation could help facilitate the ‘new normal’.
Governments are looking at a number of options and methods for a safe transition back to ‘normal’. From the theory of ‘zoning’, to letting industries to return in a staggered way, depending on the underlying risk of their operation to the spread of new cases.
Many European countries are offering ‘advice’, and some are setting down regulations to control potential resurgence. However they are managed, all efforts are aimed at a controlled ‘exit’ to lockdown.
Adapting technology to help
There are a number of technologies coming to light. Apps that trace people who have come in contact with a confirmed case, for example, are used in some countries. Data from various sources is being used to map the virus, and also how people are moving.
Technology is also being used to monitor and police the extraordinary measures taken. These are often unusual to people, and many are not aware of the need, or maybe even do not want to cooperate.
Here’s where video security can provide valuable support. Thermal cameras are used to monitor the skin-surface temperature of people as they enter a building, for example. Those who register with ‘higher’ temperatures can be flagged automatically and their temperature verified by clinical measurement devices. In some scenarios, involving public buildings, these people are denied access to the building to reduce risk of spread.
This technology is already being used in hospitals and airports around Europe. Office buildings are also waking up to the value this kind of technology can bring. These solutions can also prove useful in other transport hubs, shopping centers and government buildings – in fact anywhere that needs to manage large amounts of people.
Thermal handheld devices can also be used to monitor temperature in a patrol scenario. This can provide a manual inspection program on the move. This can be used for flexible inspection, wherever that may be needed, for example at external events, building sites, or checkpoints.
In many countries, the wearing of face masks has been recommended in public areas, or even made mandatory. For example, in France users of public transport are required to wear a mask at all times while travelling.
But how should this be monitored? After all, public transport employees cannot be everywhere, looking at all travelers. Both Hikvision Thermal cameras and AcuSense CCTV cameras have the ability to detect if a person is wearing a face mask. Both can provide an alert if a mask is not detected. The special interface of a DeepinMind NVR can also be used, to visually display temperature and mask status together, making monitoring much easier.
Mask detection can be used in all sorts of scenarios from office receptions to warehouses and from retail stores to transportation hubs.
The measure of keep distance from other people is clear, and it’s one of the measures that’s likely to be in force for a long time. In fact, in some countries there is guidance as to how many people can be in one store, for example. Signs on the floor showing a 1.5 or 2 meter distancing prompt are now common in supermarkets, for example. But it’s hard to keep your distance if there are a lot of people in one place. For this reason, some buildings are even restricting how many people they let in. And that’s where technology can come in.
Hikvision’s Visitor Density Solution uses People Counting cameras to give building managers the tools to see how many people are entering and leaving the building or an area. The system can be set to flag when too many people have entered, which gives management the ability to act. This is another solution which can automatically monitor the situation, freeing up security guard time for other things.
Technology is a driving factor in all our lives. We use it every day, for all kinds of activities. But the benefit of technology and innovation is that it keeps giving. R&D Centers all over the world are on the case, and have developed technology that can help the world to adapt to current times. Specifically, it can help to ease us out of lockdown and into the ‘new normal’.