Outdoor social distancing with LIDAR technology

As winter approaches, we have put a lot of focus on ensuring social distancing and measures that reduce risk in closed spaces. But there is also the need to control large masses of people in open spaces. After the first wave of the virus, some outdoor events went ahead. At that time social distancing measures were based on operational control through physical barriers. For example, in the United Kingdom the first open-air concert was held during the month of July (https://www.boredpanda.com/social-distance-concert-sam-fender-newcastle-festival/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign = organic).

Although these types of initiatives have turned out to be functional, they could have been reinforced by technology. Today we have various technologies that allow us to guarantee the safety of people in open spaces. The use of cameras and the analysis of images with artificial intelligence, can be controversial due to GDPR issues, there are others however that minimise the risk to health in a very un-intrusive way, dealing with security issues and preventing criminal acts.

I am referring to the use of LIDAR laser technology, which recreates a representation in real time and is capable of measuring not only the distance between people, but also knowing the speed at which both people and objects are moving, this a very effective tool for all those companies and organisations that manage event security.

LIDAR technology is not affected by light incidence, which is the case with conventional cameras, and so it is capable of working perfectly both in open spaces and in closed spaces, being of the very highest efficiency since it is capable of controlling up to 50 meters with just one device.

This technology is not only useful for large open-air festivals, it can also be useful for other spaces and other events, such as Christmas markets, stadium entrances, sporting events, etc.

Therefore, when we continue to advance and conditions allow it, LIDAR will be one of the technologies that we should consider helping us to guarantee safety and minimise the risks of a new outbreak in our society.
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Fernando Martin
Smart Spaces
Data and IoT Solutions
Tech Data Europe