CCTV cameras that can detect if you are wearing a face mask or not are being installed in shops across the UK because of increasingly non-compliant customers.
Shops across the UK are using the technology to help staff tackle awkward customers who will not wear face masks in their stores. The solution has been developed because it is now the shops’ responsibility to protect both their own staff and the health of their customers.
The camera system works out if an approaching customer is wearing a mask or not, displays a message on a screen to allow or deny access. Customers who are not wearing a mask are refused entry automatically.
One garden centre in Yorkshire got the system up and running last week. Whiteley’s Garden Centre in Mirfield is using a Videcon system to control customers behaviour at the main entrance to the store. They welcome 450 visitors a day, and staffing the door was a full-time job. They have seen a 50% decrease in customer non-compliance.
“The technology is just fantastic; the CCTV system automatically allows or denies access to the shop and means staff don’t have to be put at risk from difficult customers complaining, or potentially worse”, explains James Ritchey from CCTV.co.uk
“Retailers are working so hard to stay open during these most difficult times, and this system means staff aren’t in the firing line from customers who are unhappy about current restrictions. The other side of using an automated system is it gives customers who are worried about the virus confidence as they enter a tightly controlled secure Covid-19 store.”
According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, only a very small number of shoppers refuse to cover their faces. It found that in August almost 96% of adults wore a mask in some settings outside the home.
However, heated debates on social media suggest there is a strong degree of polarisation between those who believe face covering rules to be an infringement of their personal freedom and those who view refusing to wear one as selfish.
How the Face Mask detecting CCTV works:
- A customer walks towards the shop entrance
- The CCTV system works out using “Artificial Intelligence” if the person is wearing a mask or not
- A green or red message is displayed on a screen
- If the customer is wearing a mask, access is allowed
- If not, entry is refused