crowd-distancing

by CrowdLens

AI-powered project that helps keep social distancing between people.

Inspiration

Covid19 is forcing us rethink our day to day interactions at work, in public or private spaces. More than 2 million people are infected worldwide to this day, and this number is continually growing. Even if a drug or a vaccine is discovered, social distancing will still be required for months or even years to come.

Problem

How can we relaunch the economy and get people to work together in the same space while minimising the risk of being exposed? How do we take care of our customers while offering the full-service experience that they enjoyed in the past? How do we make public institutions safer and less crowded?

Solution

A smart proximity detector can be applied on top of a classic person detector and be used in crowded environments, such as airports. Social distancing rules will most probably still be in use months or even years from now, so an automatic system that detects when the rules are not followed could be beneficial in aiding security workers in locating and dispersing crowds. Currently, the most widely used method of non-invasively detecting the novel coronavirus is taking a person’s temperature. Our detection system can also be augmented to detect flu-like symptoms, such as coughing and sneezing.

Impact

We think the solution we propose tackles multiple industries. It will enable factories, supermarkets, restaurants and public institutions to have a real-time overview of the people inside and in their close proximity.

  • Restaurants will be forced to reduce the number of available tables or the number of people that can sit at the same table. This will reduce their delivering capacity and will impose a problem for people that work in corporations and are having lunch at the same time, and even for those going out and trying to rebirth their old lives. By counting the number of people that are in a particular restaurant and knowing how many can the restaurant accommodate in safely, we can display via a real-time plugin how many empty seats are still available. This may ease with the planning from the customer side and reduce unnecessary commute. The same solution can be applied in large factories where employees are having lunch in the dining room. A simple display or a web application available from the phone with the number of available seats can ease the process.

  • Supermarkets and smaller grocery stores are already imposing restrictions on the total number of customers they have at one time inside the store. The restriction is usually enforced by a security guard that counts the number of customers going inside the store and the ones who leave. An intelligent system could be responsible for the door controls, to keep a steady flow of customers without the need of using an employee - who in turn can be a vector of infection with the new coronavirus.

  • Public institutions can use this solution to inform the population in real-time of the crowdedness in that particular institution, such that people can decide in advance and pick better hours that minimize the waiting time.

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