Eyes in the Sky: Unveiling the Role of Cameras in Vape Detection
September 4, 2023

As more Americans become vape users, its detection and regulation in public places, schools, and workplaces have become a priority, especially at schools where teens are growing as the biggest group of vape users. In this article, we delve into vape detection and camera systems, encompassing the role of video analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and image recognition. We will discuss the challenges associated with vape detection, how cameras play a crucial role in overcoming them, and the implications of implementing these systems for privacy, regulation, and public health.

Using Technology To Stop Vaping In K-12 Schools

The rising popularity of vaping or e-cigarette use, especially among young individuals, has raised significant public health concerns. With an increase in e-cigarette users, it is imperative to have proper mechanisms in place to detect and regulate the use of these devices in restricted areas.

Traditionally, smoke detectors were used for this purpose, but they often fail to detect vape aerosols. Modern technology has led to the creation of specialized vape detectors that can identify vaping signatures in the air. However, these detectors can be expensive and are not always feasible to install in all areas. Cameras equipped with AI and video analytics have emerged as a potent alternative for vape detection, offering a comprehensive solution to this issue and at DOF we help integrate these systems into your organization.

How It Works

These cameras equipped with AI and video analytics can identify vaping events by analyzing visual cues. Advanced algorithms can detect the characteristic cloud of vapor produced when exhaling, even in crowded or partially obscured scenes. A large benefit of this technology is that traditional smoke detectors are designed to detect smoke particles from burning materials and are not sensitive enough to detect vape aerosols, which consist of smaller liquid droplets. Additionally, specialized vape detectors may be costly and require significant maintenance.

Specialized Artificial Intelligence and Image Recognition cameras and algorithms can be trained to recognize vaping events by analyzing thousands of images and videos of people vaping. These can then be used to monitor real-time video feeds and detect vaping events with high accuracy.

There are also sensor-based vape detection tools that can be utilized in places that integrate with cameras to alert cameras to the discovery of a vape event (especially important in bathrooms where you can’t have cameras. This allows facility managers or organizational leaders to cue cameras around a bathroom to catch individuals vaping “after the act” because you can’t record them “in the act” in sensitive areas). With this integration, you can be ensured that all areas of your organization can be vape-free.

DOF’s Thoughts

Vape sensor and camera solutions, empowered by AI and video analytics, offer a promising solution to limit the use of e-cigarettes in restricted areas. With continuous improvement of the technology, these systems can play a crucial role in promoting public health and safety.

Contact us today to see how DOF can implement these tools in a custom way in order to eliminate vaping altogether in your organization or school.