Beijing Metro Cameras Can Now Detect Non-Mask Wearing Passengers

By Bridget O'Donnell, April 13, 2020

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Smile, Beijing Metro commuters – you’re on camera! Just make sure you’re wearing a mask, because the cameras can now detect them.

As part of a series of upgrades, Beijing Metro is trialing a smart surveillance system that can identify which passengers are wearing masks. Xinhua reports that newly installed high-definition cameras will capture passengers’ images and transmit them to an intelligent background system for further analysis.

The cameras will also be able to pinpoint commuters fainting or waving for help, according to Beijing Review.

The technology is currently being tested on Line 6, as part of the Beijing Metro’s brand new smart service system (dubbed the “Intelligent Passenger Service System”). Along with mask-detecting surveillance technology, the system also offers high-definition screens above subway train doors allowing commuters to check up on the latest information, including line lengths, passenger density in neighboring cars and air conditioning levels. 

These Minority Report-style “magical windows” will also display current location, subway routes and 3D maps of upcoming stations. 

“Passengers can see where toilets, elevators and exits are at the next station, and also what commercial facilities the station is close to,” Li Yujie, Deputy Head of Beijing Subway’s Technical Department, told Beijing News.

Meanwhile, monitoring equipment will be installed in the train operator cabins. New facial recognition technology within the cabins can detect when operators are tired or distracted, initiating vocal prompts.

No word yet on when the futuristic technology will be rolled out to other Metro lines.

[Cover image via @南方日报/Weibo]

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