Airport Terminal

Improving Public Spaces at Transportation Hubs with Digital Transformation

As cities and borders find ways to reopen, students, business people, and travelers are preparing to travel and catch up for time lost. However, we can’t ignore the risk of another outbreak before a vaccine is discovered. Airports, train stations, and metro stations are critical areas as we expect massive foot traffic. This article will look into how video analytics can assist people in getting adjusted to the new norms.

Staff at transportation hubs are not able to respond promptly to people not wearing their masks if there’s congestion or a long queue at the counter – if they even get noticed at all. Traditional CCTV systems can’t deliver actionable events. By utilizing the video source on site and implementing Gorilla post-pandemic area management solutions, we become capable of assisting transportation operators in keeping the area safe by ensuring passengers are wearing masks and are not gathering or getting jammed together in large groups in one area.

Common Challenges Facing Transportation Operations

Train cars, platforms, station halls, ticket booths and check-in counters –  these are the areas where we expect congestion taking place when borders reopen. With a lack of human resources and an influx of heavy traffic, we won’t get clear visuals when a space becomes overcrowded. We have to rely on past experiences most of the time. Motion sensors are known as a common way to monitor how many people enter or exit. Unfortunately, with the lack of visual input, we can only rely on the number statistics sent by the motion sensor. However, with crowd detection video analytics, we can clearly tell which area is crowded and where we should send staff to assist in dealing with the queue in a timely manner. Gorilla’s post-pandemic area management solution offers an all-in-one solution in response to the current situation.

Lonely Woman Wearing a Mask on Train

To adapt to the new normal, passengers in most areas are requested to wear a mask when taking mass transportation. It has become a must. In some countries, they have strictly advised their people to have their masks on throughout the entire journey. While at the turnstiles in stations and other hubs, it’s challenging for staff to monitor multiple lanes of passengers for masks.  Gorilla’s mask detection solution is able to monitor if passengers are wearing masks before entering the facility. The intelligent video analytics does the detailed and challenging work of examining dozens of gates from different entrances/exits.

Post-Pandemic Digital Transformations Are The New Normal

Intelligent video analytics maximizes the use of video footage on-site. By running real-time video analytics, meaningful insight and action can be defined by users. Our post-pandemic area management solutions enhance workplace efficiency in many places – transportation hubs included – and assist in minimizing health risks for staff. For a more in-depth look, you should read the whitepaper we recently published regarding post-pandemic area management solutions.

Gorilla has built up a strong community and connection with global partners in many fields, e.g. system integrators, managed service providers, and hardware makers. We collaborate to find out the challenges our customers face, offer virtual training for certified partners, and deliver actionable end-to-end solutions.

dataPrivacyMain

Data Privacy in the Post-Pandemic World

The Dilemma of Data Security in Crisis Situations

Since the advent of this global pandemic, governments worldwide and their health authorities have been accused of privacy breaches and overreach because of increased surveillance and tracking of primarily infected patients, their recent physical connections and people on their contact lists, but also of the public in general.

Governments are caught in a dilemma, where they need to protect the public on the one hand, while on the other hand they have enacted data privacy laws to protect the personal information of citizens.

The Need to Navigate Data Privacy

Companies need to navigate this data privacy environment while also providing solutions to assist businesses and governments to implement and manage guidelines.

Governments have in some cases suspended the implementation of, or created loopholes for, data privacy laws as well as other laws, because of the pandemic’s impact. However, in some cases these legal loopholes are not clearly defined, so new technology providers in the biometrics and data security sectors, such as Gorilla still need to be aware of the compliance requirements.

Data Privacy Concerns and Solutions

Artificial intelligence software that performs computer vision tasks like facial recognition is facing many concerns regarding how data is acquired, processed, and stored. Specifically, concerns of personal location and identity data have been brought up as of late. Currently, data standards and data best practices as policy are the agreed upon answer to these concerns.

Location and Identity Data

The main concern for Gorilla is where a video camera system is in operation and using IVAR™ and BAP to process information for the purpose of facial recognition – which is the most sensitive item of personal information when it is linked to a person’s identity.  This would potentially include the scenario where face mask detection is used.  Solutions that aid organizations in regulating access to their premises are in high demand. The goal is to safeguard employees’ health, making sure that face coverings are being worn and that employees accessing the workplace do not have a high temperature. However, the use of biometrics for access control has proven to be controversial for the workforce going back to the office. Smart City solutions and Smart Surveillance systems have also been received with skepticism, as facial recognition plays a key role in the architecture of such innovations.

In the commercial sector, Smart Retail solutions will be less affected provided that the data collected is used for statistical purposes (such as people counting), or to ensure customers keep social distance. Temperature scanning with IR cameras is in the same category as people counting – it is not personal information per se, unless combined with other identification data.

Certified Data Standards and Systems

The current ISO management security certifications can serve as a basis to build from in order to develop a more secure handling and storage system for private information. Systems Integrator partners can place a disclaimer notice next to or near the camera system notifying patrons of the use of the facial recognition software, if any.

Implementation of Data Privacy Best Practices

Gorilla’s solutions are GDPR friendly as we don’t store any facial recognition images in our system. Our partners could schedule a regular and recurring time slot to erase the data based on the laws and regulations in their deployed countries. In addition, network security is a priority at Gorilla. As a trusted solutions provider to various government entities, we have experience collaborating in highly sensitive projects where data security is of the utmost importance.

Where We Go from Here with Data Privacy

Gorilla continuously works to minimize risks to itself and to the data subjects by requesting or highlighting to our partners and customers that they properly handle the private information in line with the laws and regulations.

In complying with the GDPR, other data privacy laws in other countries, and together with our partners, we can avoid possible sanctions by the authorities and ensure we are safeguarding people’s privacy. By making sure they comply with local data privacy laws and regulations and by implementing necessary procedures for data processing, recording, safe keeping and deletion or release, risks can be minimized by Systems Integrators or Technology Partners.

Gorilla is implementing its current privacy policies and also developing inter-company agreements for data processing from its affiliates, partners and end-users, while strengthening its security management procedures.

Final Thoughts on Data Privacy for a Better Tomorrow

The new world that is unfolding in front of us will require the use of new technologies to ensure that we can tackle future social health threats. Caution towards the use of solutions requiring private data usage is corollary to the rapid changes we’re experiencing. The transformation, albeit fast and starkly different to what we’re used to, should not be simply deemed Orwellian. Transparency, healthy control systems and the commitment of all parties involved in abiding by these principles will become crucial, as they will be the most effective way to protect us against the infringement of privacy.

Reopening Service & Retail Business Safely in the Post-Pandemic World

Reopening Service & Retail Business Safely in the Post-Pandemic World

Lifting the Lockdown with Edge AI Technologies

Countries are gradually lifting their lockdown policies with the hope that life will go back to what we knew before as normal. However, we are all conscious of the fact that the impact of Covid-19 has redefined our understanding of normalcy forever.

One of the most significant consequences of the pandemic is the acceleration in the adoption of technology to optimize and automate operations. We have seen a steep increase in the demand for edge AI solutions over the past months in preparation for the world after COVID-19. Gorilla Technology has developed a dedicated solution that is not only flexible and scalable, but also market-ready. The solution taps existing products which have been customized to focus on helping businesses achieve the following goals:

  • Monitor Social Distancing
  • Optimize Service Efficiency
  • Automate Operational Processes
  • Improve Overall Store Hygiene

The New Normal for Service and Retail Business

It has become increasingly important during lock-down to monitor social distancing. Inside brick and mortar stores such as supermarkets, governments have restricted the number of people allowed within any given area at any one time.

Entrances and Access Control

Currently, staff has been diverted to manage people flow at the entrance of stores – a process that comes wrought with unavoidable human error and inefficiency. To combat this, when more businesses reopen their doors we can deploy and see edge AI video analytics performing automated people counting at the door, with minimal staff engagement required. Screens at entrances will show the exact number of people currently in the store, as well as the max occupancy allowed. The queue outside the store will be separated by marks on the floor. Once inside the store, automatic alcohol dispensers will be placed at various points for customers to use as they like.

For businesses that don’t need to keep their doors open during business hours, an access control device can be deployed at the entrance to measure peoples’ temperatures and grant or deny access accordingly. These devices can be equipped with Gorilla’s facial recognition technology in IVAR™, which includes mask detection and can integrate with temperature sensors. In order to provide flexibility, solutions need to be scalable, cost-efficient, and contactless. The choice will naturally be to deploy edge devices able to run AI analytics and convert this into real-time data. The key tool behind it will be computer vision.

Analytics On the Sales Floor

Inside the store, behavior analytics based on video footage will be used to monitor trends over time. The importance of gaining a bird’s eye view of customer’s behavior in the store is crucial for further action.

Businesses want to understand which areas in the store were frequented more in order to do proper sanitation. This data can also reveal customer preferences, which in turn can lead to more effective inventory management as well as an improvement in in-store product placement. Popular products can be placed in more accessible areas, but also, this can benefit the business owners by allowing them to better manage the shelf-space fee from vendors.

Having precise information about how much time people are spending in certain areas (dwell time) could prove valuable in assisting health organizations perform contact tracing. The contact history of the infected person can then be accurately traced, to inform people that have unknowingly been in contact with them. In addition to this, with the same dwell time information, retailers can correlate the data to uncover the exact product that people are spending more time looking at and tweak their supply chain accordingly.

Previous to the pandemic, most of the sourcing in retail chains was done through personal relationships between vendors and buyers. Decision making was largely made by buyers who relied on their own experience, a system that is time consuming and not quickly replicated. The pressing need to automate and make decisions based on precise data will become indispensable for businesses reopening in the post-pandemic era.

POS and Check-Out

The need for social distancing will not subside for a long time. Some businesses estimate that such measures will need to be kept in place for the next two to three years. In view of this, the areas where people are likely to concentrate within brick and mortar stores are crucial. The check-out area is one of these high risk areas where edge AI video analytics can help manage the amount of people queuing up in order to reduce wait times.

Crowd detection analytics in computer vision solutions like IVAR can help detect the number of people in a determined zone and send a notification to appropriate staff when the amount of people exceeds a pre-established limit. Once staff is notified, they can reduce check-out time by opening more counters to serve more people.

Reopening Through Digital Transformation

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is to pause and reflect on our business practices. This forced halt in our daily activities has no doubt impacted us negatively, but has also allowed the world to reset itself and find new best practices.

It has made us humble about our own limitations and brought us together to collaborate as a community. It has put into question the way we consume, and striped our purchases to the bare necessities. It has also pushed organizations that were hesitant about digitalization to quickly pivot and adapt. In the wake of the pandemic, the service and retail industries will go back to business transformed – empowered by AI-driven technology and enhanced by data-driven decision making.

Contact us for more on digital transformations.