Article by Fiona Strens, Co-Founder at CrowdVision
I’m delighted to be launching the new CrowdVision blog. In these strangest of times, we feel it is our duty to live up to our reputation as crowd management thought-leaders and innovators and believe we have an important role to play in aviation and beyond as everyone tries to get moving again.
10 years ago, with my new-found colleague, Dr Anders Johansson, and some other like-minded friends, we co-founded CrowdVision. We knew from the build-your company guidebooks that we needed a reason to exist or “BHAG” (Big Hairy Audacious Goal). We agreed it would be “To enable people to move freely and safely in an increasingly crowded world”.
Over the last 10 years, the world has become more crowded, driven by population growth and urbanisation, and people have become more mobile and connected. And yet, as 2020 plays out, its clear people are just NOT able to move freely or safely. Quite the opposite. Clearly, we have more work to do here at CrowdVision.
So, as the whisky-makers turn their distilleries over to making hand-sanitiser, the fashion houses switch their production lines to medical gowns and the innovators prototype new ventilator designs, we asked ourselves what we should be doing. And this is what we decided:
- We should proactively share our expertise and experience of understanding and managing crowds
- We should focus the creative minds within our company on the challenge of pandemic risk reduction and management
- We should help our aviation customers to recover strong from covid-19, enabling them to create safer and more resilient environments for travellers and staff
- We should extend our reach to all operators of crowded venues who will soon – and forever – need to persuade Governments and customers that their environments are safe for customers, travellers, shoppers and gamblers alike.
We have a lot to share. Our obsession for 10 years has been to understand crowds and help our customers to cope with crowding, keep people safe and keep travellers moving.
We are famous for our work at the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca where our computer vision technology measures pilgrim flows and crowding levels and spots dangerous dynamics before they turn into deadly scenes.
We’re experts at measuring not only how big a crowd is, but how its distributed, how its moving and how dangerous it is about to become. Our recent focus has been on using the same technology to measure and drive efficiency and improve passenger experience in airports. We believe all this gives us a more credible voice than many in this global debate on how to respond to and recover from COVID-19 and develop resilience to future pandemics.
Over the coming days and weeks, in this blog, we’ll be updating you all on the results of our work and inviting customers, partners and academic friends to offer their perspectives too. We’ll publish each update on CrowdVision’s social media accounts so please follow us so you can keep up to date.
This is a time to share, debate and innovate so please come with us on this journey.