back to work

Back to Work: Containing COVID-19

Governments around the world have had to implement full or partial lockdown measures since around mid-March 2020 to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Whilst such measures are necessary to save lives, on the other hand they have had a devastating effect on national economies and jobs. Thankfully the number of cases worldwide are gradually declining to more manageable levels. Most governments are now cautiously relaxing controls and allowing more businesses to re-open.

With businesses preparing to re-open and bring their staff back to their facilities, management is concerned with preventing a resurgence of COVID-19 and ensuring that strict adherence to preventive guidelines continues. This includes measures such as wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. Another priority on top on their list is being able to know where their employees have been and whom they came into contact with in the event they or their contacts have been exposed to the virus. This is are where mission critical communications and intelligence company, Motorola Solutions, has been focusing its efforts by augmenting its existing video analytics and AI technologies.

Motorola Solutions recently announced several video security and analytics solutions, which are designed to help businesses to maintain safety and security around COVID-19 through technologies that help companies to prevent and protect their workforces as well as improving their responses. These solutions are designed to support enterprises and organisations exploring options for bringing staff safely back into their offices or facilities.

“Our customers have asked how our solutions can help mitigate the potential impacts of COVID-19 as they re-open their facilities, so we’ve developed a suite of applications that leverage the unique capabilities of video with the intelligence of AI-powered analytics,”said John Kedzierski, senior vice president, Video Security & Analytics at Motorola Solutions.

PREVENTION

Through the video analytics company it acquired, Avigilon, Motorola Solutions wil offer video security and analytics  security cameras with intelligent analytics to help organisations keep employees safe through adherence to guidelines around protective face masks and social distancing.

These solutions combine the power of video and the intelligence of AI-powered analytics to collect visual footage and statistical patterns on areas where social-distancing protocols have been breached or where individuals are not wearing face masks.

By using AI-enabled edge intelligence and analytics running on fixed video security cameras, Motorola Solutions technology can detect whether a person appearing on camera is wearing a face mask correctly, and notify security of any breaches via its video management software.

Motorola Solutions’ Physical Social Distancing Technology employs AI-enabled video analytics embedded within the company’s H5A camera to automatically calculate the distance between individuals within the camera’s field of view, both indoors and outdoors.

This enables facility managers to run a report of when social distancing violations occur. The technology helps to identify areas of high human traffic, such as corridors, where available spaces make it challenging to maintain social distance. With this information,  management can make the necessary corrections, for example limiting access to high traffic areas or re-routing foot traffic through other areas.

Through Avigilon Control Centre (ACC) video management software, enterprises and organisations can be notified if guidelines are not observed and can quickly make informed decisions to address the situation.

These video analytics capabilities help to improve employee safety by providing enterprises and organisations with the insights they need to comply with health guidelines.

PROTECTION

Sometimes, frontline workers face the risk of aggression. In countries including India, China and Australia, increased attacks on healthcare workers have been amplified by misinformation and fear of COVID-19 contagion. Body-worn video cameras are known to change the behaviour of individuals who know their actions may be captured on camera, often helping to deter and de-escalate heated situations.

RESPONSE

In the event employees are infected by COVID-19, the combination of physical access security and video footage can provide important insights.

Motorola Solutions’ new Identity Correlation Report helps employers to know where an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 has been, and which doors that person may have accessed within the workplace.

Used together with Motorola Solutions’ Avigilon Appearance Search™ technology and Identity Search, security operators can generate timelines and video clips of an individual’s movements throughout the premises and identify who they came into contact with.

Avigilon Appearance Search™ video analytics technology is a sophisticated deep learning AI search engine for video. It sorts through hours of video, to recognise and quickly locate a specific person or vehicle of interest.

Appearance Search enables operators to search for a person based upon physical descriptions such as gender, hair and clothing colour, presenting visual information to show where this individual has appeared in a particular point in time.

Meanwhile, Identity Search enables faster search for a person of interest using Motorola Solutions’ Access Control Manager (ACM) System cardholder information to determine their whereabouts or any doors they attempted to access.

To extend the search in areas where doors and cameras are not associated, operators can then launch Avigilon Appearance Search technology, from within Identity Search, to run analytics on any analytics-enabled cameras to find where that person has been.

This helps contact tracing efforts and informs persons of interest about their potential health risk, so that further measures can be determined, such as area disinfection and even quarantine.

As the world carefully prepares to return to a “new normal”, video analytics technologies powered by AI will play an important role in in helping  minimising the risk of additional waves of the virus COVID-19 returning.