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INSIGHTS

Post COVID-19, Internet of Behavior (IoB) is the trending topic

Post COVID-19, Internet of Behavior (IoB) is the trending topic
Solutions that can track people's behavior enable authorities to ensure enforcement of health care guidelines.
Did you wash your hands before entering your workspace today? Did you use one of those unassuming sanitizer bottles your employer may have kept at the entrance to ensure you don't have any coronavirus on your hands? Are you wearing that mask of yours properly and cover your face with a tissue if you sneeze?
 
In short, is your behavior in line with healthcare guidelines?  
 
As employees return to offices, customers return to retail outlets, and everyone goes everywhere because governments ease lockdown restrictions, the world has a new problem. The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, but the economies can no longer afford to remain shut. And for them to stay open, people should adopt pandemic-appropriate behavior.
 
Changing behavior is an arduous task, even with a pandemic wreaking mortal fear worldwide. That's why many people find it challenging to quit smoking. That's why we still have fast food. That's why people try to follow theories like “21 days to change a habit,” regardless of how effective they are.  

But what happens when authorities have no choice?

This is where we see the rise of new technology. Well, the technologies themselves are not new, but they have now come under a new category – "the Internet of Behavior" (IoB).
 
Simply put, it's the use of sensors, cameras, RFID, etc., that would collect data of people's behavior, which can be used to understand where they need change and then act on it. No one can manually monitor people to know if they are washing hands, wearing masks, and maintaining social distancing. Technology, on the other hand, can.
 
Last year, Gartner predicted IoB to be the top technological trend for 2021, enabling businesses to remain resilient in the current scenario. With data on how people behave and policies based on these, we are set to see a dramatic change in the way organizations and authorities interact with people.
 
"By 2023, individual activities will be tracked digitally by an "Internet of Behavior" to influence benefit and service eligibility for 40 percent of people worldwide," Gartner says.
 
This will inevitably throw up several legal and ethical dilemmas to authorities. The never-ending debate about privacy will have one more issue to deal with. But IoB and its technologies would not be anything new for the security industry.

Behavior tracking in the security industry

The security industry began tracking human behavior a long time before COVID-19 caught the world's attention. Video analytics solutions that can track what people do repeatedly have helped make places safer and improve businesses. Businesses across verticals use them in some form or the other using smart surveillance cameras powered by AI algorithms.
 
Retailers use video analytics to track consumer behavior to understand how they can improve sales and marketing. Cameras that track odd behavior like people loitering for longer than usual time can alert operators.
 
There are cameras on the road that can identify behavioral patterns among drivers and help authorities optimize traffic. These are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what computer vision can do.

Also read: how lidar helps retail customers 

What IoB means to the security industry

The rise of IoB presents an opportunity for the security industry to help businesses remain strong as the world struggles to get back on its feet. Most companies already have surveillance cameras in a place that integrators can leverage to provide IoB services.
 
We have already seen this through video analytic solutions that detect mask compliance and social distancing. But the real opportunity lies beyond COVID-19. An interesting example is how some fleet management companies use video analytics to track driver behavior. If the system detects that the driver is tired or drowsy, it immediately alerts operators.
 
Cameras can also track people's behavior in public spaces to detect anomalies and instantly know if there is an accident or any untoward incident.
 
For example, operators can detect if a person has fallen. A blog post on the website of Security and Safety Things on this topic points out that cameras can recognize someone who may have fallen due to illness, alcohol, or crime.
 
Traffic cameras fitted with video analytics can also check if a driver is using a mobile phone while driving, or if they are wearing seat belts, etc. This is especially relevant as cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year in the US, according to National Safety Council. Nearly 390,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving.
 
Analytics can also allow law enforcement agencies to track crime heat maps and track increase in activities that may indicate potential threats. Such tools are also extremely helpful in designing security strategies because of the actionable insights they provide.

Conclusion

The Internet of Things has become a part of physical security with many connected devices that can integrate and automate. IoB may be an extension of this, with a stronger focus on using the data rather than the technology itself. As businesses try to take more advantage of this, the security industry stands to benefit.
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