Crowd counter is an artificial intelligence system that, through the reuse of installed camera infrastructure, can monitor parameters of interest. For example, around the problem COVID-19, which still complicates Latin American countries, accelerates the times of return to normal.
The product is in the prototype stage, preliminary algorithms were developed to test the technical feasibility and it was deployed as a test in two private neighborhoods in the Province of Buenos Aires, with a camera in each neighborhood. At the moment, the prototype algorithms for social distancing and counting of people per square meter were developed, with a "minimum viable product" type system for self-management of the product.
Public and private organizations that have to manage spaces with a high number of people, ensure the fulfillment of social distancing, avoid the concentration of people, and verify the use of mouthpieces. In particular, the target client is the head of security, in charge of operations and services of hygiene and security of municipalities, shopping centers, private neighborhoods, tourist spaces, and transportation system.
Problem or Opportunity
The biggest problem in the return to normality is to monitor and control the behavior of individuals and companies with respect to social distancing and the use of personal protection items (mouthpieces). It is very complex to do this through conventional surveillance, which will require high budgets for private surveillance. Crowd counter is an automatic alert system that allows to give alerts in cases of exceeding the number of people per square meter, or detecting the noncompliance of social distance in highly crowded spaces, such as squares, public transportation terminals, shopping malls or any other space that must be monitored in order to reduce the rate of contagion. The main objective of the project is to make available a low-cost technology, as a service, that allows the monitoring of behavior parameters and gives alerts to take preventive/corrective actions early to those responsible for compliance with imposed standards, both as internal processes in private cases, and mandatory regulations imposed by governments. Through this technology, it will be possible to ensure compliance with the norm and accelerate the return to normal, while reducing the number of infections and the social/economic impact of the confinement.
Solution (product or service)
Crowd counter will have the possibility of taking images from cameras already installed in public spaces (squares, public transportation stations or others), semi-public (such as shopping malls, spas or food courts), or private (companies and office spaces), lowering the cost of infrastructure. The funds granted in this call will be used for the development, improvement and implementation of artificial intelligence algorithms to manage the interaction of people, accelerating the return to normal.
The reality is that there are no direct competitors for our project in Argentina or South America. At present, the places of interest mentioned to carry out the project are being monitored by human beings who control these parameters.
Advantages or differentiators
The key activities are divided into three avenues of approach: technical, in terms of software system development; commercial, in terms of distribution and dissemination of the solution; and networking, in terms of local support for deployment and technical support. Our resources are our greatest competitive advantage: the first one is the previous knowledge already available by the company in terms of video processing to obtain physical data. This experience is in the human resources of the organization, having certifications and validations of the industry. Then, the highly qualified human resource in terms of R&D to ensure the technical result, and the distributed sales team to ensure the commercial result.
Crowd Counter is aimed at public and private organizations that have to manage spaces with high attendance of people, whose value proposal is to provide a control and automated alert service around COVID-19 mitigation policies in public and semi-public spaces. Our company has commercial and sales alliances with major players in the software industry, as well as important credentials in Smart Cities and Retail. Crowd Counter will be added as an offer to established clients, and will serve to generate new points of contact, establishing deeper relationships with our clients. The administrative and commercial costs will sink into the current operation already set up in the company, adding this product only marginal costs. Operating costs will be variable, depending on the amount of sales made, due to the use of cloud computing power. The key activities are divided into three avenues of approach: technical, in terms of software system development; commercial, in terms of solution distribution and dissemination; and networking, in terms of local support for deployment and technical support. In addition, we have the necessary resources to carry them out: the first resource is the previous knowledge already available by the company in terms of video processing to obtain physical data and then, the highly qualified human resource in terms of R&D to ensure the technical result, and the distributed sales team to ensure the commercial result. We believe that our customers will be willing to pay for our product because it will represent a significant cost efficiency: the costs of physical surveillance - security personnel - are high and inefficient. This tool allows for a more precise use of personal resources. The service will be offered in the modality "as a services", paying for what is used according to the cameras that are processed.
Money will be spent on
The outstanding investment items are in capital goods, which include cameras and computers for configuration and deployment testing, and consulting and services associated with technical and commercial developments. With respect to capital goods, it is necessary to have our own testing infrastructure in order to ensure the operation of the client's infrastructure. We will acquire standard cameras, according to their categories, of the most used in the target customers and different processing computers. From this, the operation manuals will be made. Regarding consultancy, tasks related to marketing capabilities, translation of the software to include Brazil as a target market, costs of cloud services for development, costs associated with specific issues of usability and optimization of algorithms, to improve the scope and costs of the product, are included.