Computer vision solutions that help in fighting the coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world upside down in a blink of an eye. New technologies are stepping in to help governments, health organizations and businesses cope with the new changes. Computer vision solutions are playing a big role in minimizing direct contact and making the social distancing period more convenient.

Contactless identification and access control

Coronavirus spreads primarily through droplets generated by an infected person. To minimize the risk of cross-infection, it’s crucial to minimize contact with other people. It’s also recommended to avoid touching any publicly used surfaces such as touch screens or door handles. The security industry is quickly adapting to these new standards by relying on facial recognition.

Facial recognition is a safer alternative to traditional access control systems that require physical contact (such as fingerprint scanning). Face recognition systems use a camera to scan the person’s face and match it to the previously stored gallery. If a match is found, the person is verified and may proceed with further actions. The entire process is fully automatic and contactless.

Besides reducing the risk of infection, facial recognition is also very efficient because it saves time and reduces congestion. This was demonstrated by project PROTECT– the prototype of the fully biometric border control system powered by our face tracking and recognition technology. The system may have been built as a prototype, but the whole world is heading in that direction as we speak.

Organizations and businesses across the world are increasingly adopting biometric facial recognition. It may soon become the new security standard for a safe, clean and efficient access control.

Vision-guided robot assistants

Another way to reduce contact between people is to delegate certain tasks to robots. Robots can, for example, disinfect facilities and public areas, prepare and deliver food and medicine, check for fever, spread awareness of the coronavirus, distribute face masks and hand sanitizer, and more. All of this has already been successfully implemented in China during the coronavirus outbreak.  

Robots can also help minimize the exposure of medical staff to infected people. The first person diagnosed with coronavirus in the US was treated remotely using a robot. The robot was equipped with a camera, microphone and stethoscope. It was operated by medical workers, who used it to take the patient’s vitals and communicate with him.

Robots can also be of great help for the elderly. They can carry out video calls with their families and monitor their health.

Body temperature screening

When it comes to infectious diseases, minimizing potential exposure is crucial. Since the risk of exposure tends to be the highest in crowded environments, thermal cameras equipped with face tracking technology are used to screen crowds and identify individuals with an elevated body temperature.

For example, Imafor provides high-precision temperature screening ideal for fast-paced environments such as airports, train stations or bus terminals. The screening happens in real time, as people walk by the camera. This way, all the healthy individuals are able to pass the checkpoint easily, without the need for unnecessary stops.

Monitoring the number of people with elevated body temperature helps provide early warnings and analysis of pandemic spread. During non-alarm times, it remains a valuable tool for statistical data collection that can help detect potential threats at their early stages.

Improved video conferencing

The number of people working from home has significantly increased. As a result, video conferencing tools are taking the business world by storm. By now, everyone has heard about (and most likely tried out) the popular virtual backgrounds used in Zoom. This simple, yet powerful feature is powered by computer vision, too.

The magic behind virtual backgrounds is called background segmentation. As the neural network classifies an image into the foreground (representing a person) and the background (representing everything else), we get to make the desired changes.

Background segmentation lets you:

  • Remove the background to eliminate visual noise and distractions
  • Blur the background and maintain your privacy, wherever you might be working from
  • Replace the background with an image or a video to match your personality, brand, meeting agenda, and more

Background segmentation helps users control their background in a few clicks and create professional, high-quality live videos. This is especially useful for business meetings, remote interviews and live video streaming.

If you’d like to try out our background segmentation tool yourself, let us know and we’ll send you a free demo.

Remote proctoring

To contain the spread of the pandemic, most educational institutions around the world have been closed, impacting more than 90% of the world’s student population. As a result, classes have moved to the internet, along with exams and assessments. To enable students to sit exams conveniently in a remote location while maintaining the integrity of the test, remote proctoring tools are increasingly being used.

Remote proctoring software monitors students and their environment to prevent cheating. Although it can be carried out by humans, it mostly relies on technology – often computer vision-based. For example, automatic face recognition ensures that the right person is taking the exam. Furthermore, gaze tracking can be used to monitor where the student is looking at in order to flag any suspicious behavior (for example, looking away from the screen for too long).

As education moves online, remote proctoring services are turning into an automated, reliable process of student assessment that is here to stay.

Online shopping

A possibility to virtually try makeupglasses, or jewellery is a must-have for brands in cosmetics, eyewear, and lifestyle industries. In just a few clicks, customers can check out how a desired product suits them. Real-time face tracking allows them to enjoy a realistic presentation, even while moving their head.

For customers, it’s a great way to easily find the product that suits them best. They are more likely to be satisfied with their purchase and remain loyal to their brand.

For brands, it’s a chance to increase sales and gather valuable data for better analytics. They can add a virtual try on to their website, allowing users to try on products as they browse through the page. They can also build a mobile application with loyalty programs, social sharing options, shopping lists and more.

Changing the world for the better

The COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged the development of new technologies based on computer vision. From contactless biometrics and remote proctoring to virtual try-ons and engaging video conferencing tools, it is helping make the current situation safer or at least a little bit more convenient.

It is time for businesses and organizations to adapt to the new changes by implementing smart technologies that can help them stay both safe and efficient.

Our face tracking and analysis technology is currently powering biometric systems, remote proctoring software, virtual shopping experiences, body temperature screening tools, social robots, and much more. Hundreds of clients around the world are using it to make a difference and provide value. If you’d like to try out our technology or get a custom solution developed by our experienced time, get in touch.