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If you fall and can't get up, when will there be a friendly computer looking on to notice your predicament?

The catchphrase "I've fallen and I can't get up," appearing in commercials for the LifeCall medical alert system in the late '80s and early '90s, brought attention to the fact that falls by elderly people present a significant health and safety risk. Nearly three million older adults are treated in emergency rooms for falls each year, with the injuries including hip fractures and traumatic brain injury.

Researchers have been developing computer vision-based systems to detect when adults fall. The latest effort is a 3D system that uses two cameras to discern the floor surface, estimate the pose of a human in the picture, and tell whether or not that person has fallen to the ground. The authors of the paper describing the system write that the system can determine non-flat planes too, such as ramps. In tests simulating home and office environments, the system correctly identified whether a person had fallen or not 93% and 91% of the time, respectively.

When will a computer vision system to detect falls in elderly populations enter the commercial market?

This question will resolve as positive when a commercial product with the express aim of detecting when elderly people have fallen using computer vision, is offered for sale. Resolution is by announcement/evidence that one can actually order order or pre-order the device, if pre-ordering requires payment or deposit.


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