Safety and security are often some of the first goals that come to mind when discussing computer vision as applied to CCTV cameras, but there are other things affecting the health and quality of life in cities: litter. Among the many startups in the Eureka Park section of CES last week was Swiss startup Cortexia, which is working on computer vision systems to monitor the presence of garbage on city streets. Already it’s working with cities in Switzerland, where bikes, cars, and street cleaning trucks equipped with computer vision cameras found more than 476,000 cigarette butts on the streets of Geneva on a random Sunday, but the system can also find bottles, leaves, and other kinds of trash. The idea is the inform people of the scale of the problem in order to set up anti-littering campaigns, as well as identify particularly or chronically littered areas where city governments can send clean-up crews or install garbage cans.
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