With the gradual lifting of lockdown measures which has already begun around Europe, we face the challenge of adapting the protocols and spaces to the ‘new normal’, which brings new needs and norms. Encouraging an adequate access and control of movement in public spaces will be of particular importance, and we must find the right combination of technology and gadgets that will help us to be both freer and safer.
Reducing the number of people in places like shops or restaurants gives rise to the need for access control. And, in addition, the mechanisms of those controls which already existed in places such as airports, offices, hotels or stadiums will need to be changed. These mechanisms must be contactless and paperless, and, moreover, in many cases they also need to be able to identify people. In that regard, facial biometrics is essential, as it allows people to be identified without actually touching anything. This will always come hand-in-hand with the measurement of people's body temperatures with the purpose of detecting fevers.
At first glance, it may seem that solutions such as contactless and paperless systems, advanced identification with facial biometrics or developments in artificial intelligence and deep learning may take years to be developed and implemented. However, those technologies are already available and everis has already been implementing them for years. In other words, the market trends are being consolidated and the process of implementation is speeding up, but, in most cases, they are solutions that were already in place.
In addition, we are now adapting our solutions in order to rapidly respond to this health situation in particular. For example, the Security Division of everis Aerospace, Defense and Security (everis ADS) is now implementing temperature control systems in our identification devices (kiosks, facepods, totems) by means of thermographic technology which makes it possible to measure the temperature while carrying out the biometric identification process. And, for processes in which identification is not necessary, we integrate wrist temperature detection, so the person places their wrist close to the sensor, without any kind of contact, making it possible to obtain more precise data in a collaborative manner.
Those technologies may be particularly useful at airports. For example, in Milan, we have recently participated in the implementation of a self-boarding pilot system in which there is no contact or physical documents. The passenger can register from home via mobile phone using one of our applications, then access the security control and board the plane solely by means of facial recognition, thanks to our devices installed in the terminal. Now, in cases like this, we could also include temperature measurement.
But is it possible to transfer those systems to other environments? Not only is it possible but, in this ‘new normal,‘ it becomes a necessity in places like offices, hotels or football stadiums. In the case of a company, we can model a contactless and paperless journey to manage visitors and not only employees. A visitor could register from home using the appropriate ID by means of an application and receive a secure and digital biometric QR code. When they arrive at the office, they just need to show their code and face at an unmanned kiosk, which will then inform the contact person in the company. Then, they would identify themselves at a facepod using facial biometrics, which would grant them access through automatic doors or turnstiles.
If we think about the case of stadiums, for example, the gates could open automatically by means of facial biometrics systems once the sports fan has registered from home via an official mobile application. Inside the stadium, advanced video analytics would help control the distance between spectators if there are crowds in certain areas, check whether spectators are wearing the recommended protective equipment and monitor body temperatures.
The technologies and solutions are very varied and they can be adapted to each specific case, so we could see these types of protocols at places like restaurants, shops, museums, libraries, hotels, government agencies, etc.
In the coming months, we will increasingly see the implementation of technologies which help us to overcome this health situation. The ‘new normal’ is already taking shape, and common processes and behaviours will change forever, so we are not talking about temporary measures but rather protocols which will probably become part of our lives.