Keeping our social distance through AI

15 Nov 2021 10:35 PM

Coined as the Smart Distancing App, the effort leverages on Artificial Intelligence (AI) using computer vision to detect social distancing violations (6 feet) in a specific area. From real-time video streams, the system identifies people movements to detect social distancing violations through the application and integration of a distance checking algorithm.

This technology has been tested with input video streams from CCTV systems, as well as built-in and external webcams.

To test the system’s viability, researchers have deployed the technology at a system-level integration on DOST-ASTI's CCTV infrastructure, running 24/7 as a monitoring operation. The distancing app was tested on the CCTV Feed of the building’s reception area and was monitored by guards on duty with active participation of the researchers and personnel present during the test.

The project seeks to initially detect social distancing violations with a threshold of 6 feet distance between two individuals. During curfew hours, the app will detect human presence and will methodologically flag it as a violation. The app will run on dedicated workstations disconnected to the internet to prevent security and privacy issues.

The Smart Distancing App is a scalable solution that can be applied to different structures with existing monitoring systems (e.g., CCTV) with the intent of strengthening health protocols, especially during this pandemic.

Researchers envision the project to be adapted by Local Government Units (LGUs) down to its barangay-level. This way, barangays with existing CCTV infrastructure can use the system to be installed as detector on major chokepoints and congregation points. Barangay tanods (guards) will be tasked to monitor the CCTV feed. The project can also be deployed on building establishments, schools, and offices.

To know more, visit the DOST-ASTI website at or through Asia Research News at