At the end of August 2020, we conducted a researched with the University of Amsterdam. It objective is to check compliance with the corona measures during events.
This research was conducted in the Kromhouthal in Amsterdam. An art fair was organized here for young talent. The organization was in the hands of the Smart Distance Lab and funded by the Department of Economic Affairs.
The government was also our client. We were selected as the winner through a tender to do the measurements.
With the help of regular and heat cameras we were able to check whether visitors adhere to the measures. The most important measure was keeping a distance of 1.5 meters.
During the art fair, other innovative companies were also active with prevention tools. All measurements had to be completely anonymous and visitors were informed in advance that an investigation is done.
The video below shows what our Intra system sees and detects. Focusing on the distance measurement. If all is well the lines will be green, and if the distance is too short it will turn red.
The purpose of the research
The events industry was invited to test several protocols for effectiveness during the art fair. You can think of changing walking routes or putting stickers on the ground.
We also looked at the effect of wearing mouth masks and devices that inform people immediately if they do not keep sufficient distance.
Visitors are measured their body temperature upon arrival in real time. Still completely anonymous.
We hope that the research will contribute to improving the behavior of people during events. This insight will ensure that events can be held again in a safe manner and in an economically profitable manner. Ultimately, we all want to return to the “old normal” as soon as possible. Maybe even slightly better, because with all the knowledge we can protect public health even better.
We used our generic system for Computer Vision, Intra for the research. It had to be adjusted a bit and trained more to be used for thermal images and top view cameras. These were taken from a great height. Detecting people is more difficult from above than a front view. Measuring distance with a camera which normally does not see depth had to be learned to Intra.
Intra is not only useful for research, but also for real-time insight into behavior. It gives a computer the same view as we humans do. We obviously support the use of this technology as long as it is used for purposes that benefit us all. This could be to make the world a safer place, to make it cleaner or to accelerate it economically or scientifically.
Dutch national news (The NOS) reported about this research on prime time.
On October 28, 2020, the results of the research was announced in a live broadcast with Richard and Lieke Lamb. Denny Borsboom and Tessa Blanken of the University of Amsterdam will give a presentation. Gerard Kanters from Centillien also explains about the measurements and challenges in this project. You can download the whitepaper of our measurements. The University of Amsterdam (UVA) published their results in the renowned scientific journal Nature, Centillien employees are co-author of this paper.