Facial Recognition and Thermal Scans Could Soon Be Normal at Building Entrances

August 6, 2020 14:18:51

Since the pandemic struck, temperature screening has been used to find those that are infected with COVID-19, and this has made your body temperature to be no longer private information. Your body temperature is soon becoming like a pass for you to access buildings. Most business premises are installing thermal imaging cameras that are fitted with facial recognition technology. They are doing so to come to terms with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thermal scans installation in public institutions

Office buildings, government offices, fast food restaurants, airports, hospitals, and universities are quickly adopting technology. The main aim is spotting and turning away any person getting into those buildings with a fever. Theoretically, it will reduce the spread of the virus and bring some relief to individuals in the building.

Thermal cameras work by mapping body heat based on infrared radiation. The cameras focus on specific locations on the face to get the adjacent indicator of body temperature. Several firms are working towards configuring thermal cameras with facial recognition software and staff directories.

The employees will be checking in by standing in front of the camera so that the technology can identify their face and perform a thermal scan. It will take a few seconds, and no contact will be involved.

The technology is already in use in countries such as South Korea and China. PopID, a tech firm, sold several facial recognition systems that replaced fobs and key cards to access buildings. The company has since added the option of a thermal camera in its system where workers can check into work.

How PopID’s software works

The software primarily relies on proprietary algorithms in identifying both faces and finding the right facial regions for temperature scanning. According to research, the inner core of the eye is the best indicator of body temperature. The device takes the temperature measurement along the forehead and is accurate within half a degree Fahrenheit.

Furthermore, the device offers a system that frequently screens an unlimited number of people in good time about 5 meters away. The company went further to develop facial mapping, person detection, facial recognition, and other recognitions such as masks.

The Altoros Screening Device

Altoros has also developed a system that can screen large numbers of people for fever while performing face recognition. The technology is also capable of differentiating people’s faces from other warm objects. However, these thermal cameras have some shortcomings on accuracy in temperature of the environment and skin dampness.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these technologies are not as accurate as non-contact thermometer guns and may be difficult to use efficiently. The cameras may be ineffective as they cannot catch people with asymptomatic cases of COVID-19. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has temporarily permitted marketing thermal cameras that had not been vetted.

Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (“CDC”) verdict on thermal cameras

The CDC has raised some concerns about the technology; it says that screening for fever at airports and other premises is not an effective way to combat COVID-19. However, the companies are saying that they provide additional tools that will be used in combination with the thermal cameras to measure and help reduce COVID-19.

It remains to be seen what major players like DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: DRIO) in the biomedical sector prefer to use as methods of keeping potentially infected people out of their premises.

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