BBC Click released an episode to report on innovative computer vision and video analytics solutions that can be deployed to mitigate Covid-19.
BBC Click covers technology news and recent developments in the world of technology and the Internet. The episode dived into London St Pancras International Station’s approach to crowd control and redistribution to ensure effective social distancing. The coverage also included the utility of AI-based solutions in places where people gather, from train stations to co-working spaces (offices).
This post adds to the 29 September 2020 BBC Click Episode by analyzing the similarities and differences between the various solutions explored.
The new normal: Mask usage, social distancing, and occupancy control
The current global pandemic caused by Covid-19 has managed to pose not only a health risk, but also a financial risk. Businesses are desperate to reopen and stay open in order to avoid permanent closures. We know that effective ways of preventing the spread of the Covid-19 virus include mask usage, social distancing, and occupancy control. However, there is a lack of oversight in compliance with these measures. Currently, ensuring Covid-19 compliance is an immense manual task requiring manpower.
AI-based mitigation measures
During the pandemic, we’ve seen new innovations to monitor people’s movement and activities to help stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus. As discussed by the BBC, many of these solutions have the goal of risk mitigation and decision making support.
It is fascinating to see how far AI-based solutions have managed to come since the categorization of Covid-19 as a pandemic. Today, computer vision and video analytics can be utilized to detect a number of risk factors associated with Covid-19, including occupancy, mask detection, social distancing tracking, as well as cough/sneeze detection.
Not all solutions are made the same
The solutions covered by the episode included Lanthorn.ai, Shapes.ai, DragonFly, Camio, and OpenSpace. Despite having a common goal, there are several differences between the solutions explored. The main differences related to hardware, types of detection, and the ability to notify decision-makers.
Some of the companies, such as Lanthorn.ai and Shapes, utilize existing IP cameras, while others, such as DragonFly and OpenSpace require hardware installation. Added to this is the reliance on the Cloud. If a solution requires the cloud for its computation, there are cloud costs. Solutions such as Lanthorn.ai and Shapes can operate on the edge. Thereby, eliminating cloud costs. The cost of a solution is very important to businesses, as Covid-19 has had a negative impact on the economy.
Privacy and Security
Related to the use of cloud versus edge are another set of issues, namely privacy and security. In light of GDPR and other privacy legislation, businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the data related issues arising out of cloud computing and storage. Edge computing provides a unique solution to these concerns. By relying on the edge, data can stay on-premise and therefore in the hands of the company deploying the software.
Ease of Deployment and Use
Solutions that can be deployed on existing CCTV cameras while relying on existing on-premise processing powers provide the most ease of deployment. In addition to ease of deployment, it is important to cover ease of use. The various AI-based video analytics solutions to prevent and mitigate Covid-19 also differ in the way they approach the data gathered. At the forefront of innovation are solutions that can detect Covid-19 risk factors, such as a lack of a face covering, and then turn this data into actionable insights. To illustrate, Lanthorn.ai and Shapes can notify users when there is an increased risk of Covid-19 transmission. Lanthorn.ai also visualizes this data through comparative charts that can be used to assess compliance with safety protocols.
The final word on AI-enabled video analytics
For a business to ensure the safety of its occupants, it needs to have accurate insights into unsafe behaviors and high-risk areas. We at Lanthorn.ai hope to provide businesses with the insights needed to reopen safely by turning their existing cameras into smart cameras. By utilizing AI risk mitigation tools, those in charge of risk and safety can assess compliance with their safety protocols.
We at Lanthorn.ai have pledged to offer our unique software at cost to educational institutions and public organizations. For more information on how video analytics can help in predicting and mitigating Covid-19 contact us at email@example.com