The Challenges with COVID-19
As businesses and organizations seek to navigate a path to a "new normal" in a world with COVID-19, technology holds the promise of solutions that can help. However, many claims are being made, which may not be backed up by real-world performance. The consequences of using technology that does live up to the need are serious, so it is prudent to understand what these new products can and cannot do. ASAP Security is using its years of experience in security and monitoring technology to choose solutions that will work in the real world.
While there is no sure way of easily detecting a COVID-19 infection without a test, checking body temperature for fever has become the de facto proxy for screening people entering a location. Using similar technology used for night vision, thermal imaging cameras hold promise for quickly scanning for body temperature. But there are significant challenges to mass deployment. The technology has not advanced or matured to the point where people can walk past a camera and an accurate temperature reading can be obtained. Still, the technology can be appropriately implemented with the right calibration and methods as a first line of screening.
Most people have recently experienced the makeshift methods of social distancing employed in retail and other areas with high foot traffic. Can technology help? Surveillance cameras already use artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI) techniques to detect people, objects, and more. Analytics technology is being updated to count people in a given location by monitoring entries and exits, reducing the need for additional staff for this purpose. The analytics can also determine if people are clustering too close to each other so that you can enforce social distancing guidelines.
While there are things still unknown about the virus, it's clear that it is spread through airborne fluid particles, and face masks are an effective aid in curbing community transmission. Surveillance camera analytics technology is being refined to detect if a person is wearing a mask, and the systems will be able to build reports on compliance, numbers of violations, and other data that can help in implementing and enforcing policies.
The use of body cameras in law enforcement has helped with recording sensitive situations and ensuring proper procedures are followed. Businesses can equip their front-line staff with cost-effective body-worn cameras to ensure that workers are not harassed and that potentially dangerous situations are quickly flagged. Just like with surveillance cameras, the presence of a recording device is a deterrent to aggressive or abusive behavior and can serve to de-escalate a potential situation.
Mobile phones track people’s locations for a variety of applications, and the power of that is already being harnessed to track the movements of people that may have been exposed to the virus. In commercial environments, access control systems have the power to also be used effectively for tracing. The systems can track all the locations accessed by a potentially infected person, all the other employees and staff that may have been potentially exposed in the same places, and identify areas that need sanitation.