When students return to school this fall, things are going to look different—and not just because everyone will be wearing masks.
Some students will walk past thermal-imaging cameras that take their temperature; some will wear beacons that trace their movements around campus. Other changes will be more subtle, such as security cameras that detect when students have removed their masks or are standing too close together.
The coronavirus pandemic has started a wave of surveillance technology aimed at helping schools prevent or contain infection. All this tech raises big questions that don’t have clear answers. Will it work? Could it create a false sense of security? And how will these measures be used after the pandemic ends?
Some of the new technology leverages schools’ existing security systems. Motorola Solutions —whose security and communications systems are already installed in thousands of schools around the country—has developed artificial intelligence compatible with its existing cameras to recognize when an individual isn’t wearing a mask.
“We used data that we’ve collected over months of different types of face masks, and we’ve trained a neural network to tell when they have those types of masks on their faces or not,” Mahesh Saptharishi, Motorola Solutions’ chief technology officer, said.