Technology

Datakalab will detect the wearing of the mask of the spectators of the concert-test for the Covid-19

The Parisian start-up Datakalab, specializing in computer vision systems, has signed a partnership with the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP) as part of the Indochine group’s test concert which will bring together 5,000 people at the ‘Accor Arena in Bercy on May 29th.

Detect the correct wearing of the mask

This young company will be responsible for detecting the wearing of masks by spectators and thus obtaining statistics on the rate of people wearing their masks correctly throughout the event. These figures will feed into a randomized clinical trial which aims to compare the risk of contamination between two groups of people distributed at random. An “experimental” group of 5000 people will attend the concert and a “control” group which will not attend.

The hypothesis of this study – promoted by AP-HP and coordinated by the virology department of Saint-Louis hospital, the infection risk prevention team at Bichat hospital and the Necker clinical research unit -Cochin – is that screening for SARS-CoV-2 in the maximum three days before the concert makes it possible to control the risk of transmission and the generation of epidemic foci during the event.

No identification possible

Datakalab has developed software based on a computer vision algorithm capable of detecting the wearing of a mask. The objective is not to identify individually the non-wearing or the bad wearing of the medical device. The camera captures a video stream processed locally and in real time. The company promises that the images collected do not identify the person. Thanks to this data, anonymous statistics are established.

The images are not kept by Datakalab or by the data controller. They are processed “on the fly” and anonymized in less than a second and then aggregated at the local computer level. The data is kept on servers for the duration necessary for their use and then deleted.

Collaborations with RATP and Cannes

Datakalab is not at its first attempt. Last May, it was chosen by the RATP and the city of Cannes to detect the wearing of a mask in public spaces using cameras equipped with its software.

But these experiments were interrupted a month later following a decision of the National Commission for Informatics and Freedoms (Cnil) which considered that the right of opposition was not respected. Indeed, passers-by could not oppose the capture of their image.

The government finally adopted a decree last March which opens the possibility for operators of collective passenger transport services and managers of areas assigned to these services, such as the RATP or the SNCF, to install “intelligent” cameras capable to detect the wearing of the mask.

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