There are no words that can describe the sadness that surrounds the recent crush in South Korea, but such events may be avoided in the future with the use of phones. What challenges do big things present, how can smartphones hold the key to security, and what challenges will such a solution face?
What challenges do major crises present?
Festivals, celebrations, and parties are all part of the human condition, where many people gather together. One of the amazing things about these things that are often passed down from past generations is that they can be a link to those who lived hundreds of years ago. But the increase in the world’s population with limited areas and barriers can lead to crushing injuries, which are almost impossible to stop.
In October 2022, a large gathering of people in South Korea (estimated to be more than 100,000), which was intended to celebrate Halloween, resulted in a massacre that saw more than 150 killed, including students, teachers, and children. Without going into too much detail, a narrow road that could barely handle 6 people at a time quickly filled up, and those in the back pushing forward saw those in the road. fallen and trampled.
Undoubtedly, a lot of crushing happens when there are too many people in any area (usually, about 6 people per square meter), but trying to prevent this it is almost impossible. The reason for this problem is caused by many things, and the first thing is that those who are in the crushing zone are often unable to move their hands (and, as such, do not easy to call for help), and secondly those who are behind. a crowd that cannot see the situation ahead. In fact, those who are behind the crush will have many opportunities and only think that the crowd is moving forward.
Once the authorities realize that a disaster is occurring, measures must be taken to mitigate the impact, which can be difficult. If the authorities warn them from entering a zone, it can cause stress, increasing the chance of falling. Simply put, the inability to coordinate many people leads to catastrophic events.
Could smartphones be the solution?
After a few days of the story, I noticed that many of them in the crowd had cell phones which raised an interesting question, whether smartphones can help prevent crushes. happening in the future? Therefore, I present a reasonable solution that may encourage other engineers to design preventive measures to better organize a crowd and prevent death in the future.
The most important goal of preventing death is to increase the space between people, and this is something that has already been solved; COVID social distancing. Although the distance of 2 meters is very dangerous, those who are in danger can use Bluetooth technology to detect other nearby Bluetooth devices to know the distance of others. If everyone in an emergency can have such a device, everyone can measure the size of the area in real time.
However, This data is not used to warn those in the crowd because they cannot easily reach their phones., they cannot even hear. Instead, the average distance measurements are streamed to a remote server to identify potential risk areas. If a crush is detected, messages can be sent to those behind the crowd telling them to leave the area (disobedience’ since this instruction can be a criminal punishment such as manslaughter), and it will reduce the severity. pressure into the crowd.
Finally, those who fall into the crowd can quickly reveal their phones to those nearby as well as the authorities. While this may not help the person right away, it will give authorities a clear idea of where a crush is occurring as well as a person who may be injured.
What challenges does that solution face?
There are two main areas of concern for such a solution: performance and privacy. Expecting everyone in the crowd to use a cell phone to see the crush is perfectly possible if that event is in a private space that requires tickets, but a general problem is more difficult to enforce. Yes, administrators can force participants to download the app, but just as the COVID apps have seen a lot of backlashit is likely that many sections of society will deliberately use such a solution.
The second challenge is that such a solution can have serious implications for privacy. Just having the ability to track a device’s location is a huge breach of privacy, so some safeguards must be put in place. One of the ways that users can remove the solution from their devices after participating in a large gathering so that they cannot continue to use it. Another solution is to use a dedicated network where devices are only activated when they detect a disturbance instead of constantly broadcasting their location. .
Overall, using the same technology that powers the COVID social distancing apps could be the solution to reducing deaths, and while I myself don’t have enough programming skills to design such a system , maybe you can.