Published: 14th April 2020
This IIT-Roorkee professor has created a tracking system to keep watch on quarantine violators
Professor Kamal Jain's invention Raven Eye works on the principle of geo-fencing and will alert authorities as soon as one escapes the quarantine zone
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic started, experts have agreed that the only solution to flattening the curve is to isolate or maintain physical distance. While India, like many countries, has taken the step to identify people likely to spread the virus and mandate them to stay under quarantine, it hasn't seen the expected results as many were reported to escape quarantine and violate the terms.
In order to keep a stricter watch on violators, a professor from IIT Roorkee, Kamal Jain has customised his application Raven Eye to notify government authorities when anyone escapes quarantine.
Raven Eye was incubated at IIT Roorkee about nine years ago, way before smart phones became popular, as a medium of visual tracking. The main objective was large-scale mapping using drones and GPS. This was used for field monitoring and street surveys. But, the same application can be used for different purposes and Jain has customised it to effectively track people in quarantine.
Explaining how it works, Jain says, "It works on the principal of geo-fencing. Geo-fencing is a term used in GIS to define boundaries. Like Google Maps, we can get the location of vehicles and people in quarantine. Then using geo-fencing, you can define certain buffer zones - areas beyond which people shouldn't go. Once they cross the buffer, the alarm will go off."
Apart from buffer analysis, the admin can also check the number of people at the point of interest. In case of overcrowding, the app can issue an alert to the predefined agency. The admin will also be alerted in case of data loss from the quarantined person's location.
Jain adds, "The state governments provide us with all the information about those in quarantine. Currently, the system is being used by Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh."
Raven Eye has four types of devices that are used for tracking with different features. Type 1 - One that takes less than 20 seconds to install in a car, Type 2 - a waterproof and hidden installation, Type 3 - a device that can take images and send to the server and Type 4 - Magnetic device for surveillance in many areas.