Biometric wearables, temperature monitoring and digital health credentials for safe return to work, play
The waves of biometric and body temperature screening technologies launched to support returns to relatively normal social interaction at work and elsewhere continue to roll in, with Lanner, SafePass, Digital Barriers and CyberLink announcing new solutions. Technologies developed by NEC, wearable maker Whoop and Clear have also been deployed as part of reopening efforts.
Facial biometrics from NEC will play a supporting role in helping the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) use touchless processes for a safe return to play, according to a league announcement.
As the LPGA’s official technology partner, NEC will provide biometric checks for players, staff and fans.
Whoop has also been chosen as the official fitness wearables provider for the association, and will provide its Whoop Strap 3.0 to all players, caddies and staff to assist with self-monitoring for elevated respiratory rates. This may indicate a COVID-19 infection before the onset of symptoms, and help reduce contact with ill individuals. Whoop says a male player wearing its product has already withdrawn from a golf tournament for safety reasons.
Several other official partners for protective equipment and technology were also named.
Whoop is also being adopted by all student athletes at the University of Tennessee, according to a company announcement. The watch-like wearable is the only consumer wearable for which the respiratory rate tracker has been validated a third party, Whoop says.
The device collects a range of health and biometric data, and is worn by officials of the USDA to help people who cannot socially isolate, according to the announcement.
Whoop measures breaths per minute during sleep, which is normally fairly static from one night to the next, to detect meaningful changes in the body. The company also says it can motivate behavioral changes to improve physical condition and performance.
CyberLink facial recognition embedded in touchless parking kiosks
CyberLink has partnered with EcoSmart parking company Municipal Parking Services (MPS) in Minnesota to equip touchless Sentry Health Kiosks with its edge-based biometric facial recognition software development kit (SDK) FaceMe to verify identity and protect users’ health and safety, the company announced.
The technology will check if individuals are wearing masks, take body temperature and recognize people’s gestures when responding to health questions.
Sentry Health Kiosks were developed to assist with COVID-19 mitigation efforts when dealing with asymptomatic individual who might unknowingly spread the virus. The kiosks not only detect body temperature, but they also dispense hand sanitizer and provide an audit trail following the access control management feature.
“As businesses and workplaces reopen, and warnings of the virus continue to loom, we have seen a bolstered demand in solutions that empower companies to open their doors with confidence, while also meeting proper health and safety requirements,” said in a prepared statement Dr. Jau Huang, CEO of CyberLink. “Municipal Parking Services is a leading provider of access control technology and we are proud to join forces and supply FaceMe technology for the revolutionary Sentry Health Kiosk so that enterprise, government and academic organizations can all do their part to stymie the spread.”
“CyberLink is the perfect partner for us to work with because they, like us, are committed to building a safer workplace,” said in a prepared statement Joe Caldwell, the Co-Founder of Municipal Parking Services. “With CyberLink’s advanced FaceMe facial recognition engine, the Sentry Health Kiosk checks all the boxes needed to not only ensure safe access to protect employees, visitors, business partners and the entire community against health threats, but also verify an individual’s credentials. Our kiosk offers everyone peace of mind.”
Temperature monitoring contract and products
The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) has selected NEC and its partner Infrared Cameras to provide elevated body temperature screening and biometrics at public airports in the state.
The accepted proposal is for $23.3 million in equipment and installation, and 10 years of maintenance at $1.42 million each, for a total value of $37.5 million.
“Taking these steps to implement the technology at our airports shows our commitment to providing preventative measures against COVID-19 for the community,” states Hawaii’s Governor David Ige. “We recognize that temperature screening won’t catch every infected passenger, but it is an available tool that can be implemented and combined with the additional measures the State is providing to help prevent the spread of this virus, while helping rebuild the economy.”
Equipment will immediately by deployed to five airports. Temperature scanners will be installed by the end of July at gates used for arriving trans-Pacific flights in the first phase. In subsequent phases, temperature scanners will be extended to all gates in the coming weeks, and biometric facial recognition will be added by the end of calendar 2020.
Interestingly, NEC cautions in the press release that people should not expect the facial recognition technology to resemble something they may have seen in a movie, as it incorporates privacy protections and is being deployed in cooperation with HDOT. The system will not contain personal information such as addresses and license plate numbers, or information about criminal history, NEC says.
The company also says the use of facial recognition eliminates the need for a staff person to be stationed beside the temperature checking device to notify people with elevated temperatures that they need undergo further screening.
Digital Barriers and Vodaphone have partnered to launch a Heat Detection Camera to scan people’s temperature at building entrances to support safe work resumption.
The camera combines Digital Barriers thermal imaging technology and Vodaphone’s IoT connectivity. Each unit can screen 100 people per minute, with instant analytics and discreet alerts for anyone registering an elevated temperature. Both thermal and HD cameras are included, real-time body temperature screening accurate within 0.3 degrees Celsius. It can handle up to eight people simultaneously, and Digital Barriers says it is suitable for all business and public sector customers.
Digital Barriers is supported by the Vodaphone Business 5G accelerator and tech incubator Tomorrow Street.
Part of Vodaphone UK’s Smart Vision Portfolio with an included laptop, tablet, installation, and secure managed service, the camera is available for a 12-month term for £1,711 (US$2,144), and through other pricing models.
SafePass IDS has launched a device that provides body temperature detection and facial recognition, transmitting data to an app for socially distanced monitoring. The device also features vaporized hydrogen peroxide, hence the IDS for ‘Intelligent Disinfectant Station.’
The access gate can be used in time and attendance tracking, and includes touchless hand sanitizer dispensing and low-dose far-ultraviolet C light with a wavelength between 200 and 400 nanometers for further disinfection.
The company recommends the SafePass IDS for schools, gyms, corporate facilities, banks, hotels, factories and other workplaces.
SafePass IDS CEO and Founder Donald Toatley has also launched an annual scholarship fund to support post-secondary education at his high school alma mater.
Lanner has launched a thermal imaging analytics computer to handle compute-intensive workloads at the edge, enabling large numbers of people to be accurately screened without human intervention.
The LEC-2290 is intended for deployment to transit hubs like train terminals, airports and metro stations, along with thermal cameras and monitors. The product supports Intel’s OpenVINO toolkit and the Movidius vision processing unit (VPU) for deep learning computer vision capabilities.
Digital health credentials adopted for restaurant opening
Founders Table restaurant group, which includes the Chopt and Dos Toros chains, has chosen Health Pass by Clear for employee health screening as it reopens for business.
Pilots will be undertaken at a Chopt location in Washington, D.C., and a Dos Toros in New York City, with more than 30 employees undergoing daily health checks. The system involves users downloading the app to their Android or iOS device, and later in July will enable test results or other COVID-related data to be linked for secure sharing. A biometric selfie proves the identity of the user on entry into a building or venue, and on-site touchless access is granted through facial recognition or a QR code at a Clear pod.
Clear says eight million Americans have lost jobs in the restaurant industry during the pandemic, and research suggests people are very hesitant to return to restaurants.
Health Pass by Clear was launched in May.
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