Biometrics startup Oloid raises $5M, among several providers launching contactless temperature scanning
An AI startup has emerged from stealth with a $5 million funding announcement and the launch of a platform providing contactless biometrics and temperature scanning for “deskless workers.” Oloid offers the FaceVault facial authentication platform after developing it in collaboration with Fortune 500 customers during a private beta period.
The seed funding round was led by Emergent Ventures with participation from Unusual Ventures.
The platform de-identifies end-user data as part of its privacy-centric design, and provides temperature scans and mask detection to support safe working. If the recognition confidence drops below a certain threshold, the platform automatically prompts the user to perform a voice recognition or QR code check.
The beta platform has scanned thousands of workers at factories and warehouses since 2018, according to the announcement. Large contract manufacturer Flex is using Oloid’s contactless biometrics across multiple sites in the U.S.
The app is accessed by workers on standard tablets, and the technology is integrated with leading time and attendance systems and most physical access control systems to secure existing doors and turnstiles without expensive hardware or replacing infrastructure.
“The COVID-19 crisis presents an unprecedented challenge for our times in keeping businesses operational while maintaining a contagion-safe workplace at the same time” said Mohit Garg, CEO of Oloid. “Many companies in essential industries are evaluating how to keep their workforce safe by leveraging the latest technologies, without compromising on privacy. It is our privilege to serve the deskless workforce of essential businesses by introducing our privacy-forward technology that can help them get back to work with one less thing to worry about.”
“Protecting our essential workers has become one of our most important tasks as a society,” said Anupam Rastogi, general partner, Emergent Ventures. “The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the need for identity and access management solutions that are contactless, privacy-forward, efficient, and accurate. Oloid’s technology will be increasingly relevant in a world where businesses face a new challenge of ensuring that people are back to work in a contagion-safe workplace.”
An editorial from Boon Edam in Architecture & Design considers the future of building access in light of the pandemic, which likely includes automated biometric systems layered into entrance and internal access control. The gist is that control of building access will only be more tightly controlled in the future, and design features such as revolving doors are likely to be integrated with security entrances.
NEC APAC launches temperature screening suite
NEC Asia Pacific has launched a suite of comprehensive thermal screening solutions for the Malysian and Singaporean markets to protect people as they return to work.
Solutions with and without face biometrics, including Thermal, Thermal Sign, Thermal FR and Thermal FR Plus can meet the needs of a range of public, commercial, and restricted area deployments, according to the announcement. The Thermal Sign line includes ThermaSign, which provides a simple and potable screening option combined with NEC’s digital signage to display customer’s messaging to people while checking their temperatures.
“NEC’s thermal screening solutions combine the best of NEC; best-in-class displays and signages and facial recognition,” NEC APAC President and CEO Koichiro Koide states. “This combination presents a compelling case for organisations gearing up to reopen in the coming months. As the world gradually regains some normalcy, we will continue to push for technological innovations in all areas, and introduce new solutions to support businesses in their recovery from COVID-19.”
Body-worn patch from Identiv
Identiv has developed a Body Temperature Measurement Patch that communicates with near field communications (NFC) to monitor personal temperature curves and support the reopening of public venues.
The patch can be worn on the upper arm for accurate readings, and features a skin-friendly adhesive so it can be worn for multiple days. For clinical-grade applications, it can be combined with a high-accuracy temperature sensor which follows the ASTM E1112 Standard for Electronic Thermometers for Intermittent Determination of Patient Temperature, according to the announcement. An active battery version is also available for longer-duration temperature tracking.
Healthcare personnel can be immediately alerted of sudden changes indicating illness, and temperature measurements can be accessed from the cloud for remote assessment.
“Besides incredibly uncomfortable nose swabs, there are no safety indicators adoptable by large public venues except temperature readings,” said Dr. Manfred Mueller, Identiv COO and GM, Identity. “In order to support the safest possible reopening of these spaces — in the most practical, scalable way — Identiv has developed passive body patches, and samples are immediately available.
Zenatix launches fever detection for Indian workplaces
Zenatix, an IoT-focused Indian startup that is part of the Hero Group, has launched a pair of offerings for body temperature monitoring to help companies ensure safety and compliance as they resume operations.
ZenSafe provides cloud-based contactless facial recognition and IR temperature screening for safety assurance and time and attendance monitoring. The solution also provides alerts if a mask is not detected, and automatically produces auditable data logs. ZenMonitor is a wearable arm band, which is connected to the cloud to transmit body temperature information in real time to the person’s mobile phone.
“We have seen our existing customers struggle with implementing safety measures as it requires extensive training, and there is no consistency across their workplaces and workforce,” comments Zenatix Co-founder and CEO Rahul Bhalla. “At Zenatix, we are always developing solutions that automate processes using IoT, thus ensuring accuracy and consistency at a large scale. Both ZenSafe and ZenMonitor are meant for Indian businesses that are restarting operations but are either worried or struggling with ensuring the health safety of their workforce.”
Alchera technology adopted by San Jose market
San Pedro Square Market in San Jose has adopted Alchera’s AIIR access control system with AI-based facial recognition to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The company’s facial recognition algorithm topped South Korean participants in NIST FRVT testing in 2018 and 2019, according to the company announcement.
“The effective isolation and prevention of COVID-19 in South Korea drew the global attention on the advancement of bio and ICT technologies, and that facial recognition technology is considered as the core technology in the era of the contactless society,” says Alchera Co-founder and CTO Young Hwang.
AIIR was also recently implemented by Shinhan Face Pay, its third deployment and first in South Korea.