New Japanese Surveillance System Can Tell When People Are Drunk
So much for trying to cover up your boozing with a stick of gum. A new security camera system being used on a Japanese railway platform is able to identify potentially drunk passengers just by watching them.
The high-tech system that has been installed at the Kyobashi station in Osaka, one of Japan’s largest cities, uses 46 cameras to automatically search out signs of intoxication and alert attendants of possible problems. Unlike a breathalyzer that can figure out your ABV, this system uses human behavior to try to predict who may have overindulged at happy hour. Beyond seeking obvious signs like staggering, the cameras also look for people who are on the platform for longer than they should be or who drunkenly decide to take a nap on a bench.
Intoxicated people getting hit by trains is a serious problem in Osaka. According to The Wall Street Journal, from April 2013 to April 2014, there were 221 cases of passengers on platforms being stuck by trains. About 60 percent of those hit had been drinking beforehand.
West Japanese Railway, the company behind the system, stresses that the cameras are only there to promote safety and won’t be used to identify people—meaning hopefully this won’t become the lush’s equivalent of a red light camera. If it proves effective, they plan on expanding it to other stations.
Can they install it in my kitchen to alert me when I make my late night drunken stagger towards my fridge?