CCTV has long been a core part of modern security systems, giving real-time visibility on movement of staff and customers, sensitive areas and additional facility for identification and access control.
But advances in technology are set to take the value of CCTV as an observational, pre-emptive tool to a new level, as a tech firm in London – Sensing Feeling – test a new software they’ve developed which enables CCTV cameras to ‘read emotions’.
The Sensing Feeling team has developed proprietary software that uses Artificial Intelligence to scan faces and body language to predict behavior.
The cameras scan people in real time, and measure facial expressions, movement and other indicators against pre-defined parameters for anger, contempt, fear, disgust, happiness, sadness and surprise.
The system produces a Crowd Risk Index, and is then able to alert monitoring staff when it detects a rise in one of the above emotions, allowing early intervention in the case of a potential threat or escalating situation.
Sensing Feeling founder Jag Minhas says the technology has wide-reaching possible applications across numerous sectors including industry, retail, education, arts and the general workplace.
The technology is being tested at a private university outside the United Kingdom, where it is measuring satisfaction feedback after lectures.
Minhas says the system could, amongst many other applications, warn staff at festivals or on congested commuter routes when crowds are becoming angry or restless, warn health and safety managers when staff are becoming fatigued and inform restaurant managers how patrons are enjoying, or not enjoying their experience.
Minhas told The Standard, “Our technology can sense how people are feeling, just by observing their behaviour. It can assist in the more effective management of that by highlighting risk associated with crowding in public spaces, or behaviour that might cause accidents and near misses. A pattern of behaviour that might be associated with the risk of self-harm could also be something that this type of solution can detect.”
He was also quick to point out that his company is aware of the potential privacy and ethics infringements, saying they have ensured safeguards are in place and they are compliant with data law.