A barangay in Pasig City is boosting its mass surveillance tools — especially during these times when government authorities are hard put in implementing social distancing and curfew in the fight against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — by equipping its 73 closed-circuit television cameras (CCTVs) with an AI (Artificial Intelligence) software that enable them to monitor people’s movements in real-time.
Barangay San Antonio Chairman Raymond Lising said the new monitoring system, which utilizes smart CCTVs, intends to closely monitor the movement of residents along the streets in the barangay during the quarantine period.
Lising said Barangay San Antonio has dozens of existing CCTVs in their command center and just adopted a new system using a dashboard and AI software provided for free through Project Greengrass of Things.ph and RxR Capital.
The Project Greengrass, a real-time community street activity monitoring map powered by Al-based CCTV analytics, enables the local authorities to keep an eye of areas covered by the quarantine.
It helps in ensuring residents to stay indoors to stop the spread of the dreaded COVID-19.
“Mayroon na kaming 73 CCTVs. We just added AI software para maging smart CCTVs sila na kayang mag-monitor ng galaw ng tao if tumatambay man sila at nag-uumpukan or hindi sumusunod sa social distancing at curfew (We have 73 CCTVs. We just added AI software to make smart CCTVs that can monitor the movement of people at this time, whether they observe social distancing and follow curfew hours),” Lising said.
The people-counter feature of the AI software enables the map to display how many people are actually moving in a certain area of the barangay.
Lising said the CCTVs have an indicator of the number of people who are out on the streets. It is also color-coded: green when there is one person in an area or no person at all or zero movement; faded orange when there are four to 10 persons; and solid red when there are 11 persons or more.
“Makikita namin kung may kumpulan or kaunti ang tao kasi nagkukulay sa monitoring system namin dahil may indicator, mas maging epektibo ‘yung implementasyon ng enhanced community quarantine sa aming barangay (We can now monitor a gathering or grouping of people through the color-coding on our monitoring system and this makes the implementation of quarantine easier in our barangay),” Lising said.
When personnel manning the command center are alerted by the indicators of the smart CCTVs, they will inform the security personnel through radio so that they can dispatch personnel to the specific area and remind the public to observe social distancing.
Since the new technology provides the movement of people in real-time, Lising said it is a “big help” in the monitoring and implementation of social distancing and curfew in the village.
“Pagdating sa curfew zero talaga ang tao sa kalsada, no moving out sa homes agad-agad ‘yung security personnel na ma-aalert para i-enforce ang physical and social distancing in compliance sa quarantine (So far there have been no curfew violators as our security personnel can immediately proceed to a particular place to enforce these Covid-19 measures),” he added.
Lising said the technology would soon include a vehicle-counter feature as well.
“Before we just use conventional CCTV system, now we have added artificial intelligence through a software company to make this possible,” Lising said.
The barangay will soon launch its short messaging service (SMS)-blasting platform in collaboration with one of the country’s largest telecommunications companies.
It will send advisories, announcements, and reminders regarding COVID-19, Lising said.
The barangay chairman urged his constituents to stay at home, and always practice social distancing whenever going to the market and other public places.