Home COVID-19 Face Mask Detection for the ‘New Normal’

Face Mask Detection for the ‘New Normal’

by Benchmark

As an increasing number of businesses and organisations return to some level of operations, indications from other parts of Europe, and the wider world, are that second waves of COVID-19 infections are a real risk. This places a greater emphasis on compliance with various regulations designed to control infections and minimise risks for employees and customers alike.

The implementation of credible social distancing remains a significant issue for many users, and the introduction of mandatory face coverings in a number of locations has allowed for distancing to be relaxed where other COVID-Secure measures are in place.

While compliance with regulations is critical, many businesses and organisations are supplementing the measures by introducing additional policies designed to safeguard people and reduce the threat of renewed lockdowns and other punitive measures for the control of the pandemic. End users not only need to take appropriate measures, but they need to be seen to be implementing COVID-Secure practices in order to meet compliance requirements.

A number of manufacturers have been quick to adapt technologies, such as video analytics, to provide tools which can assist users in ensuring their sites and business operations remain COVID-Secure. These solutions simplify a return to the ‘New Normal’ and eliminate the use of personnel to implement social distancing measures. The use of staff for such tasks is not only inefficient for many businesses, put places personnel in roles where their risk is heightened.

Advanced video analytics not only offers a cost-effective option when managing issues such as social distancing and compliance with regulations regarding the wearing of face coverings, but also allows business efficiencies to be enhanced in the future, ensuring the user can see a future return on investment once the pandemic is over.

Every site will have different requirements based on the type of visitors, the physical layout of the premises, footfall, opening hours, etc.. For example, controlling premises where most users are staff is a simpler task than delivering a solution for a location which is open to the general public. It is therefore critical to select systems which can deliver a high degree of flexibility and customisation. The pandemic has attracted the attention of many manufacturers without a heritage in video analytics, offering products with limited functionality. This underlines the importance of working with proven suppliers of flexible solutions.

Finding solutions

COVID-19 continues to present businesses and organisations with a range of challenges, many of which can be alleviated through the use of advanced technologies. As a distributor of the leading manufacturers of technology-based solutions, Norbain is ideally placed to work with the market-leaders to provide solutions which help the return to a ‘new normal’ way of working.

The distributor is offering a range of cameras from Korean manufacturer Hanwha Techwin, which are pre-loaded with applications designed to enhance management of social distancing and to deliver face mask detection.

Wearing a mask is believed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and has already been adopted as a safety measure in many workplaces. The introduction of face mask detection follows World Health Organisation (WHO) advice recommending the use of face coverings where social distancing is difficult to achieve. The UK government has made face coverings compulsory when visiting or working within healthcare facilities, in retail establishments and when using public transport. It is also expected that the rules will be extended to cover other locations if infections rise. In some applications, social distancing rules can be relaxed if face coverings are worn.

The Face Mask Detection application runs on open-platform Wisenet X Series cameras. It uses video analytics to detect people who are not wearing a mask. Alarm events can be used to trigger the broadcast of an audio message which is generated via the Wisenet X camera. As a result, there is no need for a PC or audio storage device. A speaker can be connected directly to the camera. Alternatively, the camera’s alarm output can be used to switch another device or trigger an action.

The face mask detection application has a range of 5 metres and can cover up to 4 people in one scene. Digital zoom functionality ensures the application focuses on a specific region of a camera’s field of view.

The face mask detection application can be ordered from Norbain, pre-loaded on selected Wisenet X models as an out-of-the-box solution. As a result, there is no need to load the application and the camera is ready for use.

Key to most businesses and organisations returning to ‘new normal’ operations is the implementation of social distancing. This requires users to control occupancy and the flow of people through a site. Hanwha Techwin offers an occupancy monitoring application designed to provide accurate data on the number of people in a premises at any given time.

Compatible with Wisenet P-Series AI cameras, the edge-based application simultaneously counts the number of people entering or leaving an area. When a threshold for the number of people is reached, the application signals via an alarm output. This can be used to control doors or warning devices, or to display Wait or Enter messages on a screen.

The occupancy monitoring application aggregates and processes data from single of multiple cameras, making it ideal for areas with separate entrances and exits. It is a serverless solution, so integrators do not need to configure server-based software.

The cameras use Deep Learning AI, so the application can count people, even if wall mounted. Unlike most people counting solutions, the cameras don’t need an overhead field of view. This allows users to take advantage of other video analytics applications which can be run onboard the device.

Norbain supplies Wisenet P Series AI cameras which are supplied with the occupancy monitoring application pre-loaded, making them ideal for applications where a quick implementation of technology is required to support social distancing.

To learn more about the Hanwha Techwin solutions, and to view other appropriate solutions, visit the COVID-19 section of the Norbain website.