Vodafone launches heat-detecting camera to protect offices from Covid-19
Image credit: vodafone
Vodafone has launched a heat-detection camera designed to screen people coming into buildings for signs they may be running a fever and potentially be infected with Covid-19.
Each camera can check the temperature of 100 people per minute with thermal images being streamed securely and in real time to a laptop or mobile device.
If elevated temperatures are detected, alerts are sent to the operator of the camera to help them identify people who may have the infection.
The camera has been developed by UK-based Digital Barriers, which develops surveillance tech, and is connected through Vodafone’s IoT networking service.
It incorporates both thermal and HD cameras that deliver real-time body temperature screening accurate to within 0.3°C. Up to eight people at a time can be screened by the camera and it requires less than half a second to assess individual body temperatures.
Anne Sheehan, business director, Vodafone UK said: “During this crisis, our role has been to keep the UK connected. Now, we want to help UK organisations get their people back to work while prioritising their safety.
“The heat-detection camera is a helpful tool to support this goal: every organisation needs one. We believe technology-led solutions will play an important role in return-to-work strategies.”
Vodafone’s chief technology officer Scott Petty said the technology will help to protect front of house staff and employees. “Our IoT network can connect many cameras quickly and without disruption in almost any location,” he said.
Digital Barriers CEO Zak Doffman said: “This heat-detection camera has been designed to help companies safeguard staff and customers, reopen facilities and get back to work safely. The solution combines class-leading temperature screening with highly secure remote access and alerts.”
Tim Raynor, video product manager, Johnson Controls
“While this technology cannot prevent the virus’ spread, it could play a part in efforts to limit it. In practice, body thermal detection technology gives security teams a first-line filter to identify those entering premises who may have an elevated body temperature.
“It is not a silver bullet. This technology is a useful tool to control the potential spread of the virus in key facilities, but it’s important to emphasise that it cannot prevent the spread of the virus.”
Current and future usage
“There is no single environment to which body thermal detection systems are best suited. Now, it plays an important role in enabling continuity in any facility requiring a minimum level of employees to remain operational. Here, it can play a part in limiting the spread of the virus among key workers on the frontline.
“Next, we can expect to see the technology adopted more widely, particularly once lockdown restrictions are lifted and our daily lives begin to return to normal. It’s likely that we’ll see high-street retail stores, entertainment venues like stadiums and cinemas, and potentially ‘high-risk’ areas like gyms and swimming pools consider the technology as an additional detection method against any potential spread of the virus. This is to safeguard both the staff working there and their customer base as much as possible.”
Privacy/impact on consumers
“Body thermal detection systems are a dual technology, an out-of-the-box extension of a standard CCTV camera. They don’t record individuals and store their data – the systems simply measure an individual’s temperature and alert security teams to anyone with potential symptoms, to help them manage who enters their building.
“The vast majority of businesses will already have CCTV systems in place, with accompanying signs to notify shoppers of their presence. The installation of body thermal detection systems is unlikely to cause any disruption, but will require additional signage to notify customers that cameras are measuring their temperature. With the population much more savvy about their data and the way it’s used these days, it’s important to clarify how the technology works – and also explain how it’s helping to keep them safer.”
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