Written by Wayne Louw
Sensor Security Project Development Consultant
As most business’ are already planning and implementing measures to stay operational, the unnerving reality of indefinite closure looms. Industries across the country face this incredibly challenging situation while many are taking pro-active steps to secure their premise in new ways in order to protect their staff and customers while continuing business. These solutions can provide organizations with an additional layer of protection to their facility from increased exposure to the coronavirus.
Thermal Screening cameras cannot be used to detect or diagnose an infection
An important distinction to make is that body temperature solutions are not a medical solution. They cannot identify the virus and they do not protect organizations or individuals from catching the virus. Thermal body temperature solutions are a tool that can support the critical early identification of a primary symptom of the disease by measuring skin surface temperature on a person’s forehead. People who are identified as having an elevated skin temperature can then be further tested by medical professionals. The screening solutions provide a non-invasive method to check body temperature and can do this faster than hand-held scanners but importantly at safer distances.
How is this technology being applied in the field
Thermal screening solutions require a specialised thermographic camera to automatically measure temperature differences in people entering the field of view. Blackbody devices will calibrate the temperature measurement in environments where the person has been exposed to the elements and to increase accuracy in readings. Analytics or AI will target the temperature reading on the onto the forehead for the most accurate reading which in turn will activate a pre-set tolerance threshold alarm to the operator. This is done by using facial detection (Not recognition) technology to locate the forehead accurately. The blackbody calibration unit utilises a target object with a set temperature as a control. This is important in measurement where accuracy to +/- 0.3C is critical. Thermal screening provides an alarm when an object or person is detected with an elevated temperature compared against a set temperature value typically 38C.
Thermal cameras assisting with Covid-19
With the heightened awareness and initiatives to combat the virus, the demand for non-contact thermal screening has grown exponentially. Public open spaces such as airports, train stations, medical facilities and manufacturing have been quick to respond with effective roll outs and deployments across the country. The most common of which being strategic camera placement at entry and egress points to monitor foot traffic. Notably, up to 30 targets can be screened simultaneously at any point without having to stop.
Key benefits of a thermal screening solution
- Non-contact – Distances range from 1m to 9m depending on technology.
- Non-invasive – No need to physically stop a person to take a reading.
- No human error – Traditional thermometers require a user to discern between low or high temperatures. This is now determined via AI.
- No physical manpower – The system could essentially operate autonomously.
- Record keeping – Every alarm exception is captured and stored offering sound corporate governance.
- Alarm Notification- The necessary escalation can be predetermined by setting up the head end software.
What are the different hardware technologies?
The following non-contact Hikvision Thermal Screening Cameras below are used to accurately detect differences in skin surface temperatures:
- Handheld Thermography Camera – The handheld thermal (DS-2TP21B-6AVF/W) camera is specially designed for body temperature measurement. It’s equipped with a 160×120 resolution thermal detector and is capable of discovering and tracking people with elevated body temperatures in crowded public areas. It supports Live View on PC, Mobile Device or External Monitor.
- Walk Through Detector – (NP-SG318LT-F) walk-through metal detector with thermal imagery technology, utilises non-contact temperature measurement with face detection. An exception alarm will trigger the strobe light as well as an audible sound. A visible display with people counter, real time temperature and number of alarms.
- Facial Recognition Terminal – An access control terminal that uses both biometrics and thermal fever screening as identification and validation. (DS-K1T671TM-3XF)
- Fixed Mounted Cameras – A traditional form factor dome or bullet camera with thermal screening functionality. Able to measure object’s temperature at a high accuracy in real time, it is capable to target and track up to 30 people with higher body temperature among the crowded public area.
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