The COVID-19 pandemic has had an incredible impact on the security industry. Many security integrators, manufacturers, and thought leaders have taken this opportunity to pivot, and create new and unique solutions and tools. As businesses continue to adjust and come back online, many new video surveillance uses and requirements have emerged.
New uses for video surveillance have been especially true in the healthcare sector. In an effort to address and prepare for increased demand, temporary hospitals and restructured spaces have been created. As a result, additional video surveillance equipment is needed to help ensure the security of these new spaces.
However, it is not just security that has impacted video surveillance needs. Increasingly, hospital staff are utilizing video surveillance to quickly check on patients without them needing to physically visit them as often. This translates into a reduction of personal protective equipment (PPE) needing to be used. Additionally, video analytics could be used for a variety of applications including proper handwashing assurances, and confirming social distancing is being observed by staff.
As many regions begin to open up to stage 2 and 3, which allow businesses to re-open their doors to customers, it is anticipated that there will be new demand for video surveillance in the retail sector. As we have seen, there are restrictions on a shoppers’ retail experience, primarily pertaining to social distancing and the number of people in a store. Most retailers already have some form of video surveillance within their stores, which is in place for theft prevention. However, with the advancement of video analytics, many store owners are beginning to re-consider the role that analytics may play for them. Some of these services may include:
- People counting algorithms to provide an automated way to control the number and timing of when customers are allowed to enter the store.
- Camera technology could also be used to communicate wait times to customers. In this scenario, a live feed could help customers see how long the wait may be to access a store.
- Allow for the monitoring of the use of proper PPE and social distancing practice within the store.
New Solutions Innovation
The development of new video surveillance technology continues, and we are seeing many innovations and uses that have come as a result of the pandemic.
Thermal Body Temperature Monitoring
Perhaps the largest of these innovations is thermal body temperature monitoring solutions. This concept is to use thermal imagery as an additional screening method to identify elevated body temperatures as a potential symptom of COVID-19. It’s important to note that these thermal monitoring solutions are not medical devices and cannot be used to diagnose illness. These cameras should simply be used to assist a building to limit their potential exposure to COVID-19.
PPE Detection & Social Distancing
Video analytics are a valuable tool that have applications to both security and business efficiencies. As we continue to progress from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now beginning to see analytics used to detect if face masks and other PPE are being worn.
Similarly, these analytics can be used to review footage of events that have occurred to determine if individuals are adhering to social distancing. This can help to enforce policy, or even identify those who may have come into contact with someone who contracted the COVID-19 virus.
The security industry continues to adapt to a world now affected by COVID-19. It is important to be mindful of these tools and maximize their capabilities to keep your building and its occupants safe.
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For 20 years, Bulldog Fire and Security has been an expert in video surveillance systems, having designed, installed, and serviced a variety of systems across Southwestern, Ontario.