Security Cover - Network Security Video Security

Top 5 Video Security & Network Security Tech Solutions Today

What comes to mind when you think about surveillance & security tech? Some companies still only rely on a guard looking at a video wall, strategically placed motion sensors, or badge ID cards for building/office access. Yet many organizations and enterprises are undergoing digital transformations to increase efficiency and upgrade these systems.

In this article we will offer our picks for the top five physical and network security tech solutions that organizations and enterprises are exploring these days.

1. Edge AI & Video Analytics – Video Security

Data Bridge Market Research shows us that the rising need and demand for edge computing programs and services will experience a CAGR of 20.15% with a rise of up to USD 2.7 billion through 2028. To refine that further to include video analytics into the edge AI equation, MarketsandMarkets Research show that video analytics on edge devices improves surveillance and monitoring by reducing the amount of raw data that needs to be transmitted over networks.

Processing facial recognition or other intelligent video analytics to identify things of interest and suspicious activities or behaviors on edge devices is a growing and valuable technology in the surveillance and security fields.

EXAMPLE: The IVAR™ edge AI platform from Gorilla Technology

CCTV - Video Security

2. OT Security Solutions – Network Security

OT Security is different from standard IT Security. (OT stands for Operational Technology while IT is Information Technology.) OT is a type of hardware and software used to monitor and control physical devices, processes, and infrastructure. OT Security is a common form of cybersecurity used to protect Industrial Systems and networks from various attacks. OT is used across multiple industries including manufacturing, power plants, transportation, utilities, and smart city appliances.

As outlined in a recent report from Market Research Future analysis, the global OT security market is forecast to see an increase to USD 3.5 billion at a CAGR of 42.2% through 2025. The driving forces behind the market growth include the integration of IT and OT systems, surge in the risk of cyber threats on critical infrastructure, and increasing dependence on legacy systems.

EXAMPLE: The NSGuard Series of OT Security Solutions from Gorilla

3. Access Control Systems – Video Security

COVID-19 has changed quite a bit in regards to access control systems and what they are expected to do. Edge AI video analytics are being implemented more in access control systems to accomplish things like employee ID verification via face recognition. From monitoring employee health conditions and meeting government mask/temperature regulations to ensuring visitors and employees can gain timed access with privileges to pre-assigned areas on to time-logging every area entry and exit, the desired tasks assigned to access control systems have expanded quite a bit. While its roots are in security, access control systems are now just as important for health and controlling the spread of deadly diseases.

Mordor Intelligence reports that the Access Control market is expected to reach USD 11.7 billion by 2026 and grow at a CAGR of 7.38% until then. The need to enhance the safety and security across various residential and commercial segments is significantly adding to the market growth globally. The advancements in edge AI computing mentioned above and the expanded use cases in this post-pandemic era have both contributed a great deal to the growing interest in access control systems.

EXAMPLE: Post-Pandemic Access Control & Area Management from Gorilla

Access Control - Video Security

4. IoT Sensors – Video Security

The global smart (IoT) sensor market size, according to Allied Market Research, is projected to reach $91.37 Billion by 2027 with a CAGR of 14.30%. IoT sensors enable better control and monitoring of different security operations. These sensors react to physical inputs that occur or change – like light, heat, motion, moisture, or pressure – by producing an output on a display or transmitting data further processing on edge devices or other designated machines with the help of signal conditioning, embedded algorithms, and digital interfaces.

These sensors are often used in the surveillance and security fields along with other technology – specifically enterprise security. The demand for combining video surveillance, edge AI video analytics, and IoT sensors to create comprehensive physical security systems with multiple false-positive checks is increasing rapidly – and so is using OT security solutions to ensure device and health and security.

EXAMPLE: Enterprise Security Solutions from Gorilla

IoT - Video Security

5. VMS Systems – Video Security

Kenneth Research reported to MarketWatch that the global Video Management Software (VMS) industry is anticipated to see a CAGR of more than 16.85% through to 2025. Factors pushing this projected industry growth include easier ways of deployment, the rising use of IP videos, third-party integration, and other digital business systems. Mainly due to COVID-19,  safety and security concerns have escalated nearly everywhere and further advancements in edge AI video analytic processing capability have led many VMS users to upgrade their systems to include some form of video analytics as well as OT security.

Control Room - Video Security

Observations in Video Security and Network Security Tech

CCTV cameras only sending video to hard drives, guards staring at video walls, ‘systems’ made up of only motion sensors, and unmanaged device/system health – these old days of security are over. As you read in the sections above, video analytics & edge AI, OT security, access control, and integrated IoT is the combined direction that the field is moving. So meet the future today and contact Gorilla about one or more of the ideas in this article.

AI Appliances in Smart Cities

Top Video Analytics AI Appliances for 2021

AI Appliances are computers that do one thing well – run specific AI software. Smaller devices with more processing power have come together with developments in edge computing to unlock the immense expansion of capabilities and uses these AI Appliances can now offer.

But what are the devices we think will have the greatest impact in the coming year? As recent reports project, the video analytics market is poised to see large growth and Gorilla is a driving force in that projection.

With that in mind and to keep this list more concise we decided to focus on AI Appliances that run video analytic software since AI running on AI Appliances will vary from project to project. (click on the titles or images below to learn more about each AI Appliance)

The LEC-2290 from Lanner is the latest generation of intelligent edge computing systems powered by the 8th generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor. Designed for deployment in diverse environments (-20°C to 45°C) and to meet the high Power POE requirements of network applications, the LEC-2290 brings the most secure, low-latency video AI applications, such as city surveillance, machine vision, and mobile surveillance.

The Behavior Analytics AI Appliance gives government, transportation, enterprise, and retail administrators a better way to monitor, manage, and make decisions on any scale. It has been implemented in many projects globally and excels at superior public safety, enterprise security, and retail analytics. With professional, standard, and custom models to choose from, this AI Appliance runs its preloaded video analytics on up to six video channels – all on Intel® CPUs and without GPU assistance. This is one in a series of AI Appliances from Gorilla aptly dubbed Vision AI. The hardware and software in each AI Appliance in the series is tested for compatibility and stability to give you the optimal combination of accuracy, performance, and efficiency. To go the extra mile, flexible hardware aftercare from service centers all over the world as well as first line tech support from Gorilla is included with each AI Appliance.

The Edge AI Video Analytics platform from Arrow and Gorilla includes a complete technology stack to develop intelligent video surveillance applications. The platform delivers real-time intelligent video analytics and business intelligence.

Core video analytics capabilities of the solution include people/face recognition, behavior analysis, vehicle detection/recognition, and real-time insights. Exception alerts based on key business or security parameters make the platform well suited for video surveillance applications in public safety, smart cities, and enterprise security and for enhancing customer experiences in retail. Moreover, these features provide a complete security convergence platform that safeguards both physical and network security.

Comprised of Gorilla’s edge-computing video analytics software, an AI Toolkit can be placed on hardware devices and boards with different form factors, shortening the time to market for end product manufacturers and solution developers.

More About AI Appliances

Many elements go into making a quality AI Appliance. From form factor, to environmental capability and on to processing power or type of AI being run, the market today is sure to provide the perfect AI Appliance for any setting or project.

You can find out more about AI Appliances and Gorilla Technology here: https://www.gorilla-technology.com/

We also recommend learning more about edge AI here: https://www.gorilla-technology.com/Edge-AI

A firm understanding of video analytics can be ascertained here: https://www.gorilla-technology.com/Video-Analytics

For a deeper dive, download Technical Whitepapers and Case Studies from Gorilla Technology here: https://www.gorilla-technology.com/Edge-AI/Whitepapers

First Aid Tent

New Disaster Shelters Use Edge AI to Manage Pandemics

As we all begin to live with the global aftermath of Covid-19, the challenge is in creating smarter and safer disaster shelters to alleviate the heavy loads put on hospitals when another infectious disease breaks out or when the next natural disaster occurs.

During any given season of the year, countries face the threat of natural disasters – typhoons, tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, earthquakes, and tsunamis.

Pain Points of Traditional Disaster Shelters

As Covid-19 has brought to light, creating and using impromptu shelters for disease control and prevention leaves much to be desired. Here are a few ways that traditional disaster shelters have failed in the wake of Covid-19 and taught us lessons about what we can improve upon:

  • Disaster shelters are typically set up in schools, gyms, public halls or community centers with little or no patient-to-patient or doctor-to-patient separation.
  • They require a large number of front-line staff to manage everything on the ground.
  • Due to the urgency in accommodating large numbers of victims in these places, these makeshift indoor spaces are often overcrowded and utilized as much as possible.

Due to the situations above, an unexpected and innumerable amount of group infections occurred when the first wave of Covid-19 hit. Because of that, however, we can learn how to improve on the idea of how a disaster shelter should be created.

New Disaster Shelter Criteria

In countries like Taiwan and Japan where natural disasters occur frequently, governments have come up with guidelines for new kinds of disaster shelters. For example, the Office of the Cabinet of Japan has formulated the following criteria for the creation of these new disaster shelters: 

  • Prepare more sites in advance for disaster shelters in order to reroute much of the affected population.
  • To avoid gathering in large crowds, it is recommended that affected people seek refuge at the homes of relatives or friends. 
  • All people entering the disaster shelter must be physically examined.
  • Disaster shelters should focus on maintaining good ventilation.
  • Disaster shelters must provide dedicated spaces for people with fevers or other symptoms, and provide a dedicated bathroom to people with abnormal health symptoms if possible.
Field Hospital

In the past and under normal conditions, the government advocated that these items be strictly followed. Yet these key guidelines are quite difficult to maintain in an emergency situation.

Edge AI Solutions in New Disaster Shelters

There are many governments and local authorities in countries that are paying attention to how AI technology can be used in shelters in areas at high risk for natural disasters. For example, using an access control system with contactless temperature detection combined with facial recognition technology can record body temperature and personal data when anyone enters the shelter. That data can then be linked to a specific face identity. Because the system is contactless, it can help avoid transmission between the front-line staff and the admitted person because the device replaces the front-line staff with technology.

Furthermore, physical methods have been used to block people from associating with one another. This is achieved by creating spaces separated by plastic or cardboard dividers. Video analytics can be used to confirm the number of people in each area is within limits. Using AI identification along with personnel management can work together to efficiently strengthen protocols and efficiency.

In addition, mask detection video analytics can be used to identify whether or not an entrant is actually wearing a mask. This cuts the common reliance on staff to check at entry and exit points, thus again reducing the need for front-line staff.

Loss or theft of relief supplies for disaster shelters is often a problem. It’s impossible to allocate people to monitor these materials 24/7. If there are non-staff wandering around the storage area, video analytics can alert the proper personnel and warn them to take necessary action.

Finally, in case an infected person does enter a shelter, focusing on contact tracing methods to effectively locate all the people they have interacted with to prevent further spread of the disease is important as well. Carrying out effective contact tracing, quarantines, and similar measures can benefit from technology and is being closely watched by governments and local administrations.

Covid-19 Alert

Transforming the Traditional with Edge AI

Covid-19 is a pandemic the likes of which the world has never seen and transforming traditional shelters into a more intelligent disaster refuge is an issue that all governments must address. Gorilla’s edge AI technology is leveraged in creating a variety of post-pandemic solutions that governments and countries can adopt. In the future, Gorilla Technology will continue to produce the most advanced video analytics and will continue to develop products that contribute to society.

Digital Transformation in Covid - cover photo

Digital Transformation in the Age of Covid-19

Only 16% of companies in the world highly depend on digital technologies to run their businesses, while the rest are hybrid-digital and non-digital models.[i] The COVID-19 pandemic has changed all that and has forced companies to finally embrace digital transformation.

Digital transformation is the process whereby businesses adopt new technologies and fundamentally change the way they deliver services to customers. Namely, digital transformation is how enterprises integrate digital technologies into business operations.

Because of the lockdown policies and work-from-home guidelines from Covid-19, many workforces have had to shift their operations to the digital world in order to maintain stability/profitability. This unprecedented and unpredictable crisis has shown the world just how important technologies are to modern businesses. Enterprises now have to rethink their digital transformation strategies and the pace with which to roll them out.

Woman wearing mask working from home

But the barriers for companies to rapidly overhaul their business environments are many. No clear strategies and budget shortfalls are the two biggest challenges most companies face. Yet many businesses are taking the leap since the pandemic leaves them no other options.

Levi’s is an example of a company that has successfully reduced losses by accelerating their digital transformation. They automated most of their logistical processes, deployed an omni-channel e-commerce and delivery system, and invested heavily in data and artificial intelligence, thereby keeping them afloat.  By strengthening their connection between digital technologies and operations has been beneficial for both customers and employees.

It’s not just retail—factories, hospitals and governments can also take an advantage of transforming digitally. To embrace a data-driven future, the following technologies are the key trends which we’re already seeing help people adapt to the new normal:

icon - video iot

Video IoT

• Video analytics helps to enhance the authentication systems (using facial recognition for touchless entry) • Additional functions are being released, such as mask & temperature detection or crowd density detection to follow Covid-19 regulations.

icon - cybersecurity

Cybersecurity

• As enterprises embrace digital transformation, their data needs to be saved and shared safely. Cybersecurity solutions help organizations to avoid hackers and to ensure the internal and external networks are well guarded.

icon - big data

Big Data

• By transforming unstructured data into structured information, big data optimizes and accelerates data analysis much better than before. Big data solutions can collate disparate information and allow organizations to make more informed decisions.

During this challenging time, companies should stay open to digital transformation. Not only the pandemic but also the development of Edge AI/computing are pushing companies to speed up their plan of digital transformation. Gorilla who has specialized in edge computing can really help organizations easily transition and make operations smoother in the long-run.

Click here to learn more about Gorilla’s post-pandemic solutions:  https://www.gorilla-technology.com/IVAR/Post-Pandemic-Area-Management

 

[i] Harvard Business review

https://hbr.org/resources/pdfs/comm/microsoft/Competingin2020.pdf

virus-5308335_1920

5 Ways Video Analytics Can Help Manage Covid-19

Since the pandemic began, wearing face masks and social distancing have been used as preventive guidelines for individuals, organizations, and governments to follow. Many governments have gone so far as to make those guidelines into mandates and laws.

Whether guidelines or laws, it’s still the responsibility of society to maintain these and make sure a second wave of the pandemic does not accelerate out of control. But how can organizations or governments monitor or even execute these rules with limited human resources and no smart methodologies on hand?

We recommend intelligent video analytics — AI technology interpreting IP video sources. Preventive measures like mask wearing and social distancing guidelines can be easily monitored as well as executed. Below are five examples of intelligent video analytics from Gorilla Technology and their use cases that can help you make a proactive difference in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic:

 

1. Facial Recognition

Employing no-touch access control reduces physical contact with devices and people, which can drastically reduce transmission of the virus.

 

2. Mask/No-Mask & Eyewear Facial Recognition

Mask guidelines and mandates are in effect to some degree all over the world and leveraging edge AI to assist in enforcing these regulations decreases required manpower and increases efficacy in areas where personal protective equipment is required.

 

3. Crowd Detection with Occupancy Analysis

As social distancing is part of the new normal, people counting and crowd detection can help keep transmission risks to a minimum.

 

4. Crowd Detection

Once offices reopen, management can ensure break rooms and other gathering spots remain safe and not overcrowded with edge AI zone capacity alerts.

 

5. Heatmap and People Counting

Good air quality in high foot traffic areas is important and heatmap & people counting analytics can empower HVAC systems to circulate air appropriately to keep infection risks low.

We firmly believe in and see the benefits of implementing intelligent video analytics that can adapt to many situations — it saves time, money, and makes it easier to quickly solve new and unforeseen challenges, like what we are experiencing now with Covid-19.

For more info about this topic, refer to our solutions on Post-Pandemic Area Management. Also, if you’d like a deeper dive on the technology or specific cases, our whitepapers offer more details.

NetworkSecurity1-16x9

Minimizing Network Security Risks While Working from Home

WFH is Here - Probably for Good

More companies are transitioning from working at the office to working from home — it’s a fact. What started as a short-term workaround in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, just might turn into a long-term or even permanent change as more workers get used to the freedoms and slashed commute times that working from home affords. 

Employees are not the only ones benefiting from this new normal of more employees working from home, companies are reaping rewards like lower overhead and increased productivity from employees.

Network Security Risks Involved in WFH

In the transition from the office to a home environment , laptops are now a major security risk to companies. Previously, most PCs and laptops rarely left company grounds. So, even if a device was misplaced, the chance of an outsider gaining access to the device, and thereby the entire network, was slim. Employees using laptops out of the office creates a high probability that a non-employee will have physical access to these off-site devices (and in turn, network access). In order to mitigate this security issue, two-factor authorization (2FA) can be used.

2FA with Facial Recognition

With Gorilla’s FR-MOTP (Facial Recognition – Mobile One-Time Password), companies can secure and control employee laptop access by allowing only designated employees to access specific laptops. FR-MOTP works by having the employee use facial recognition on their mobile device to obtain a one-time password in order to unlock their Windows laptop. After installing the app on the device and the software on the laptop, the employee can quickly obtain a password and gain access to their laptop in two steps.

  1. Open the app and use facial recognition to display a temporary, one-time password to use on the company laptop.
  2. Enter the password from the app into the laptop along with the employee’s Windows login.

With facial recognition included in the 2FA process, even if an outsider obtains the Windows login info and the user’s mobile phone, they will be unable to log into the laptop because they won’t have access to the employee’s face.

Post-Pandemic Area Solutions like FR-MOTP deployed by enterprises and other operations can ensure that everyone involved can stay safe while being as productive as possible.

For further reading, our recently published whitepapers are recommended as an insightful starting point. If you’d prefer to talk to someone about solutions like what was outlined above, please contact Gorilla.

DataCenter16x9

Post-Pandemic Situational Monitoring with Big Data

The period of lockdowns around the world is coming to an end. It is inevitable that business and operations need to reopen for economic survival. However, the possibility of new waves of the virus after re-opening is an issue that requires close monitoring.

Balancing Economic Activities and Epidemic Control

The answer to this problem is actively sought out by various government agencies. From gradual re-openings within borders, to the conditional re-openings at borders (such as travel bubbles), these policies and measures are already starting to be implemented in many areas.    

The most important supporting measure after a lockdown – apart from wearing masks, social distancing, and frequent hand-washing – should be epidemic surveillance. This means monitoring those in home quarantines and self-isolation. For example, once a confirmed case is discovered, the history of who they came in contact with needs to be determined in the shortest time possible. Once those potentially infected people are discovered, monitoring them and possibly enforcing home quarantine and self-isolation is a high priority.  

When monitoring is not automated, the staffing required will be massive and it may not be possible to execute quickly. A failure like this could cause a large-scale community-based spread of the virus that cannot be traced, which would then lead to the city needing to return to lockdowns yet again.

Considering automated monitoring, it can be applied via the deployment and use of post-pandemic area management solutions like big data analysis. From monitoring home quarantines and whether the monitoring device of a quarantined person strays from its designated location, to understanding the previous movements of a newly diagnosed person – automated big data analysis can be applied to identify possible connections quickly, accurately, and efficiently.

The monitoring devices used for quarantine and self-isolation are IoT devices that can report back to the big data platform at set times. Once an irregular report from the IoT device is recorded, the big data platform can immediately issue an alarm to notify personnel.

Understanding Contact History with Big Data

To accurately understand the contact history of a newly diagnosed person, data from multiple sources is required. For example, the logs from a telecommunication company’s cell tower, check-in/out times from locations using ID verification, CCTV recordings, credit card spending history, etc. would all be utilized in contact tracing. These data can ultimately be analyzed to find possible contacts with location/time crossovers.

For integrating heterogeneous data from multiple sources, Gorilla’s big data analysis platform provides real-time event notifications and space–time analysis functionality, making it an optimal solution for contact tracing.

Contact us to learn more about post-pandemic area management solutions like our big data platform. If you’d like to read more in-depth on the topic, please check out the whitepaper we recently published here: https://www.gorilla-technology.com/Edge-AI/whitepapers

architecture-buildings-business-city-325185

Post-Pandemic Workplace Wellness & Intelligent Building Automation Systems

The Pandemic

The world was caught unprepared for Covid-19 and its profound consequences on public health and the economy. In just the first six months following its discovery, the highly contagious virus was able to infect over ten million people globally, and has been responsible for at least half of a million deaths around the world in as much time.

Since the outbreak, the pursuit of workplace wellness has dramatically accelerated. Workplace wellness encompasses the physical health and safety of its employees, also how they can successfully perform their jobs and how they interact with one another.

Workforce Vulnerabilities

Most jobs (office, engineering, construction, government, etc..) can be broken down into daily tasks that have at least some element of human interaction – this may act as a channel for the virus to spread. Jobs that involve these tasks not only expose employees to risk of infection, they can also increase the spread of the virus by acting as a distribution network for it.

The challenge is in reformatting these jobs to keep our workforce healthy and productive. Checking temperatures at entrances, maintaining social distancing during working hours, assisting health professionals with contact tracing – these are just a few examples of what offices will need to do in order to reopen safely.

Enhancing Building Automated Systems with Edge AI

Edge AI driven video analytics from Gorilla provide reliable solutions to slow the spread of the virus. Integrating and deploying facial recognition access control, attendance systems, and smart parking solutions with current building automation systems to automatically monitor compliance in many ways are now possible. To name a few:

  1. Performing screening for fevers and masks at entrances and other key zones.
  2. Using crowd detection in cafeterias and break rooms to ensure proper social distancing is followed.
  3. Assisting health authorities with link analysis & contact tracing when positive cases come to light.

Post-Pandemic Area Management solutions from Gorilla can also help maintain public safety and order – something that will prove to be a challenge as lockdown measures result in closed businesses and greater economic hardship for many people.

Gorilla’s offerings of behavior analytics, intrusion detection, loitering detection, direction violation detection, fighting detection — these can all help minimize the prospect of looting, vandalism, robberies. Gorilla is reaching out to assist law enforcement in preserving public order during this trying time.

While the health crisis is far from over and the full impact of the virus and global lockdown is still to be seen, we know we will get through this. We will return to our workplaces as they are re-tooled into safer and smarter environments – and Gorilla will help get us there.

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.

woman-holding-face-mask-3902883

A Tense Encounter at the Grocery Store

Any parent will understand that your kids are at home with you all day and every day. Every chore and every errand you have to run, your child is with you – there are no schools and no childcare available. This includes errands like grocery runs.

Last Wednesday morning, I geared up to go to the grocery store with my child. Masks? Check. Sanitizing wipes? Check. Hand sanitizer? Check. Snacks for cranky kiddo? Check. We got to the store and I noticed there wasn’t a security guard standing outside to ensure everyone abided by the ‘no face mask, no entry’ rule. I figured it would be ok because the store looked pretty empty – I had strategically chosen the morning to conduct this task because this shop is usually slow before lunch.

We entered the store, I grabbed a shopping cart and wiped it down with an alcohol wipe before putting my child in it – then went about my shopping.

Once I completed our shopping, we got in the checkout line and stood on the strip of red tape six feet behind the shopper ahead of us to follow the store’s social distancing policy – there was another strip six feet behind me, and so on.

There were only two of the ten cashier lines open, which is normal for mornings. Yet as I looked at the impulse buys in front of the register, the line behind us grew. My strategic plan of going shopping in the morning to avoid a crowd was crumbling.

I turned from looking at gum and noticed that the man behind us wasn’t wearing a mask and was mumbling to himself. Visibly agitated, he was muttering profanities about the slightly longer wait and had moved to within whispering distance of me. Did he even notice the red tape?! I think all parents, everyone for that matter, can imagine the fear and panic snowballing in the pit of my stomach as I hovered closer and closer to my child – hoping to shield her from harm with my body. Enough was enough.

At that point, I took a breath from through my mask, turned, and firmly told the man behind us that we’re all in this together and he should kindly withdraw to the red strip of tape six feet behind us and offered him an extra mask I had packed. He momentarily balked at my comment, but then begrudgingly took the mask and moved back to the strip of red tape. We got home without further incident, but it got me thinking – was that whole episode really necessary?

Since I work for an edge AI and computer vision company, I know there are better ways to manage and control situations such as the one I experienced. Firstly, deploying mask detection at store entrances can avoid the issue of not having security personnel on duty. If the store wants to invest further, they can include crowd density detection throughout the store as well as at the checkout. Computer vision is quick to implement. It isn’t complicated and there is no breach in privacy. In any case, if it can help protect my child without me having to step in and confront an agitated stranger, I really don’t mind a little bit of surveillance. 

As an active member of the community, I do my civic duty whenever I can. I hope grocers and other retail shops will do the same by implementing extra measures to protect their shoppers.

To read more, click on what interests you below:

Post-Pandemic Area Management

Video Analytics

Edge AI

Whitepapers