Ever since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, different industries have been trying to find solutions to make the adjustment to the new normal easier. One industry in particular, the security industry, has been actively coming up with new uses of past technologies. Here are a few new security trends that have been changing the way we live and work.
Contactless Access Controls
One of the biggest effects of COVID-19 has probably been that society has become more conscious and concerned about how germs are spread through contact. Our past habits have been re-evaluated to limit contact as much as possible and one thing that has changed is the way we open doors. Doorknobs and handles are areas that experience a high amount of shared contact which means that they’re hotspots for infection. One of the security trends that has come up in order to combat this issue is contactless access controls using face recognition. Face recognition is already a commonly used form of artificial intelligence, but it’s now being used to grant or limit access. Some devices that are being integrated with this technology are terminals attached to automatic doors and turnstiles with retractable gates. Now, instead of having to touch a doorknob or push against turnstile arms, people can gain access through areas with just their face. Face recognition access control is not only safer, but more secure because it only allows authorized personnel through.
Mask Detection With AI
Many local governments around the United States are requiring people to wear a mask when they are in public because masks help protect against the transfer of germs. In order to enforce mask usage, many establishments have hired people to check visitors at the door, but this method wastes time and money. A new security trend has been developed to take its place. Now, businesses are using devices that can automatically detect mask usage with artificial intelligence (AI). Instead of having employees standing at the door, terminals are being placed at entrances to screen visitors for mask usage.
Hand-Held Thermal Imagers
Another thing that has changed due to the pandemic is that people are taking illnesses more seriously. In the past, it was common for people to still attend work or school, even if they were sick. Now, establishments are encouraging people to stay home if they are feeling ill in order to contain the spread of infection. As a result, new security trends have emerged, including using thermal imagers to screen individuals for fevers. A fever is a common symptom of COVID-19 so many businesses are using thermal cameras in order to quickly detect those who might be infected. This method has become so common that the FDA has deregulated thermal imaging devices in order to keep up with demand. Although this method is not a guarantee since there are asymptomatic carriers, it is more helpful than not screening at all.
Instant Thermal Cameras
Even though many places are starting to use thermal imagers to screen for fevers, there has been criticism that this method is not safe because it requires the screener to be in close proximity to the person being screened. In order to remedy this issue, many establishments have started to utilize instant thermal cameras. Thermal cameras have been used in the past for different purposes like for detecting intruders at border entries, but this technology has been adapted to serve a new purpose. Instead of having to screen individuals one-by-one which takes up time and is unsafe, the new security trend is using instant thermal cameras to screen multiple people at once and from a safe distance.
Although using a cloud for security footage storage is not a new technology, more people have started to use this security trend more throughout the pandemic. Not only is using a cloud more convenient, but it follows social distancing protocols as well. With a traditional surveillance system, owners would have to hire a professional to come on-site to update or do maintenance on their firmware. With a cloud, all updates are done automatically through the server so it eliminates any physical contact.
When businesses reopened, they were given a series of new mandates they had to follow to encourage social distancing. One requirement was that they had to reduce their maximum occupancy by a certain percentage in order to prevent overcrowding and to keep people distant from each other. Many businesses have hired employees to count how many visitors can be allowed in at a time, but doing this drains resources and is inefficient. As a result, more security trends have been adopted, like using security cameras equipped with people-counting software. Instead of placing employees at the door to manually count people, all of the counting can be done automatically with a security camera. This method is multi-functional because it records things for security purposes and it is also a more efficient way of keeping maximum occupancy.
Even though no one could have predicted that a challenging situation such as the COVID-19 pandemic was in our future, the security industry is continuing to develop new products and adopt new uses of technologies in order to adapt to the new normal. Though the pandemic will eventually pass, technology will always be present and it’ll be interesting to see what other security trends are coming.
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