A scalable, cost-effective and multi-purpose edge computing visual AI solution to solve crowd monitoring issues in post epidemic/pandemic periods

Nowadays people are facing tremendous changing on life style and habits that impact on the overall consolidated international social and politic strategies. Today Smart Cities based on IoT technologies cannot be optional at all, but now these innovations must be mandatory for people safety in post epidemic/pandemic period.

It’s necessary to monitor and control people behaviour in outdoor and indoor environment using advanced heterogeneous and integrated techniques deployed in a fastest, most secure, fully-functional and scalable fashion.

People have to move from house to cities soon, but most of our cities (even New York or Milan) are not demonstrating to be technologically Smart to contain a rapidly spreading health emergency. Moreover, people have to have a walk, go to offices, stay with parents and friends, shop in a shop safely and securely. In addition, government should adopt all the countermeasures to monitor and control crowd phenomena. Lockdown is the strategy to contain the virus, but it’s not the good strategy for an expected custom life with high death percentage virus, if ad-hoc new strategies are not applied we can image hundreds of phases, but we’ll come back to the phase 1: the lockdown.

To avoid that and create a better World, several technologies can be applied, not tomorrow, but now.

Focusing on people control and monitoring, it’s necessary avoiding crowded area. Government are using drones, helicopters, mobile cells and apps to incentivate and monitor the lockdown, but they are not sufficient for the next phases.

Today, it’s necessary to deploy the most advanced IoT technologies for outdoor and indoors environment, already mature to be reliable, scalable, cost-effective and secure.

Several companies are working on tailoring consolidated solutions, new partnership are springing up like Google-Apple for contact tracing based on Bluetooth Low Energy integrated in mobile devices (smartphones). Other high value companies are tailoring their solutions starting from well-consolidated technologies, like Park Smart that is expanding their solutions from Smart Parking to Real-Time People Monitoring with advanced visual AI.

People will move in different context (e.g. streets, squares, building, shops, parks, etc.) and they cannot stay in crowded area. Bluetooth technologies can be very powerful for small spaces, due to the limitations on covered distance of RF waves, however they are able to detect crowded areas. For large spaces, like in cities or malls, vision technologies can be more powerful since AI vision people recognition algorithm can be applied to very large images in real-time, providing additional multi-layer information (even body temperature or emotions).

The most rapid and cost-effective solution that can transform Cities in Smart Cities is the Visual AI with edge computing. You need to have a video camera with resolution > 2MPx, an edge computer (AI box) and connectivity. In this way you can monitor and control people outdoor and indoor efficiently avoid the epidemic/pandemic spreading.

This solution monitor, recognise and control real-time events in an urban environment. The Edge Computing guarantees privacy protection. Data is analysed locally, no images are transmitted or communicated thanks to local IoT terminals located in proximity to camera infrastructure. Central data management communicates anomalies or non compliances to Central Control staff. Video streaming data is analyzed locally, close to the camera location. No images are recorded or sent to the cloud following a GDPR compliant technology.

In addition the solution can allows for simultaneous acquisition of data from both active (smartphones) and passive (existing city cameras) sources advancing the under developing bluetooth contact tracing with well-consolidated AI algorithms.

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