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Covid-19: Tech experts in Spain develop new technology to detect who is wearing a mask and who isn’t in crowd

Spanish government are said to be interested in the technology in a way to prove who is flouting the Covid-19 rules.

The research is taking place at the University of Barcelona in Catalonia and can detect whether someone is wearing a mask whilst in a crowd.

The tech, called LogMask, will be brought in by the government in a bid to keep people safe and sticking to the rules. It will be applied to areas where people cannot keep to the social distancing measurements so therefore must wear a mask.

From today, the Spanish government have passed a decree which declares that until a vaccine is found for coronavirus, everyone (except those who have medical reasons) over a certain age will have to wear a face mask, even after State of Alarm which is currently in place stating that people over the age of six must wear a mask outdoors in Spain.

The team, formed by computer science and telecommunication engineers and mathematicians and professionals of digitalisation in public bodies and companies, claim the technology is 95 per cent accurate.

In a statement, the university said: “LogMask is a project based on artificial intelligence techniques, deep learning and big data to conduct computational analysis in real time images.

“The aim is to identify people with and without masks, which are mandatory as announced in the current regulation, published in the Official Gazette of the Spanish Government (BOE), on May 20.”

Petia Radeva, professor at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science of the University of Barcelona, and leader of the research group, added: “Deep learning technology enables a computer to learn and identify automatically about the features based on images, people with or without mask in this case, having being shown thousands of images.

“Thanks to this technology, LogMask can learn to identify the visual features of the images and look for the patterns that identify eyes and face features to find faces, and on the other hand, features based on shape and colour of masks, as well as of mouths, to identify whether the person is wearing a mask.

“The algorithm was launched thanks to a set of 25,000 images with more than 45,000 human faces with and without masks.”


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