After years of preparation, a new international standard (the Standard) has been implemented in November 2017. The Standard focuses on Computer Vision Detection Systems for swimming pools, like SwimEye.
During the development of the Standard, SwimEye provided expert contributions and comment on behalf of the Scandinavian sector.
The purpose of the Standard
The Standard sets guidelines for the implementation and use of Computer Vision Detection Systems for swimming pools. This works as a guideline, benchmark, and specification. It can be referenced by system manufacture’s like SwimEye, and swimming pool owners and operators.
The draft Standard
The development process for the Standard was intense and complicated. During the process, many experts and industry contributors did not agree on the technical benchmarks and measurements.
However, at the completion of the draft Standard in September 2017, a vote was taken. The majority of the contributors voted positive (15 out of 20). Subsequently, the draft Standard was endorsed and published.
- ISO/FDIS 20380:2017 Public swimming pools – Computer vision systems for the detection of drowning accidents in swimming pools.
Five contributing nations voted negative against the draft, citing concerns that the technical benchmarks were too low. The Standard, therefore, passed with low margin. Nevertheless, the ISO Standard has been published and has also been ratified as a “national standard” in many countries.
Norway’s concerns about the Standard
Upon reviewing the draft Standard, SwimEye and Alice Boyd (Norwegian expert and contributing representative), provided the following comments. The comments were aimed at improving the quality and strength of the Standard.
- Independence of the Standard:
In the introduction of the document, the Standard references the name and contact details of one industry player and patent holder.
Norway proposed these details be removed, to improve the independence of the Standard and reduce the length of the document. In the published version, the Standard has created a competitive advantage for one industry player.
- Classification of smaller pools:
The Standard excludes pools with a surface area less than 150m². However, there are examples of pools in many counties, that are in excess of 4.0m deep and with a surface area of less than 150m².
Norway proposed that the definition of pool size is confusing and creates an additional safety risk for the market (and swimmers). Norway suggested that safety must always come first, and that limiting the surface area of a pool, created an unnecessary loophole in the Standard.
- Alarm set-off times:
The alarm set-off time has been fixed to 15 seconds.
Norway was comfortable with this time period. However, Norway suggested that the Standard allow pool owners to have more flexibility. For example, in shallow pools, set-off times should flexible to accommodate different drowning incident parameters.
- Visual coverage of swimming pools:
The visual coverage of detection systems is set to a minimum of 80% of the pools surface area (or area of the bottom of the pool).
Norway suggested that this is a very low number when compared to current technological capabilities. It, therefore, creates an additional safety risk for the market (and swimmers). Norway recommended that this rate be much higher; at least 95% coverage.
- Non-detection test procedure – failure rates:
For the non-detection test procedure, the Standard accepts a failure of 40% (two out of five attempts).
Norway suggested that this is an extremely high failure rate. Furthermore, that for most pool owners and system providers, it is an unacceptable failure rate. Norway advocated for a maximum of one failure out of 20 tests (i.e. 5% non-detection rate).
- Non-detection test procedure – stand still times:
The non-detection test procedure prescribes that a swimmer should stand still for around 35-40 seconds.
Norway suggested that this time period should be increased, as swimmers typically stand still in a swimming pool for extended periods. Norway proposed a minimum 90 seconds time period for the non-detection test procedure.
When asked about the process, Tor Petter Johansen, SwimEye – Cheif Executive Officer said that “the Standard is positive for the sector”, but that the industry could “find the current version both weak and confusing”.
Tor Petter continued to say that he believed “in the near future, the standard should be strengthened to put more pressure on the suppliers to deliver innovative, higher quality products”.
The ISO/FDIS Standard is a document that pool owners can use as a guideline when considering the installation of a Computer Vision Detection System.
For more information about the Standard, please contact SwimEye today.