Four new biometric temperature screening solutions roll out, early COVID-19 detection work continues

facial recognition can identify people wearing masks

New face biometrics and body temperature screening software and solutions for preventing the spread of COVID-19 have been launched by CyberLink, Mitrefinch, CompuLynx and DOCUmation. A deployment of similar technology has been carried out for commuter trains in Argentina, while researchers continue to work on early and asymptomatic detection of the disease.

CyberLink has added temperature scanning thermal camera capabilities to its biometric facial recognition software development kit (SDK) FaceMe to support the safe reopening of businesses.

Features for temperature scans, mask detection, contactless payments and logins and more are now available with FaceMe, which has been ranked in the top 20 in NIST’s Face Recognition Vendor Test. FaceMe is also able to identify people wearing masks, according to the announcement.

The platform is designed to reduce the risk of virus transmission, while providing security and access control, the company says.

“Brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a surge in demand for technology that enables a nearly entirely touchless day-to-day life and temperature checks have become a vital tool to protect the health and safety of individuals,” says Dr. Jau Huang CEO, CyberLink. “These new FaceMe® features are designed to accommodate this new world and facilitate a smooth transition for businesses and workplaces to not only reopen, but also remain open, with complete confidence.”

FaceMe can identify multiple individuals and check their temperatures and if they are wearing masks at the same time, and provide an alert if a high temperature is detected. The SDK can be integrated with a wide range of cameras and devices, and provides edge-based capabilities for systems running Windows, Linux, Android and iOS.

CyberLink will also co-host a webinar on August 19 on ‘AI-based Solutions to Create Safe and Enjoyable Environments During COVID-19’ along with Municipal Parking Services (MPS) and BlueStar.

Time and attendance software from Mitrefinch now includes biometric facial recognition and proximity readers to allow businesses to switch to contactless processes, the company has announced.

Systems with fingerprint or palm recognition based on shared surfaces can be retrofitted with the new capabilities for proximity cards of face biometrics, and fever screening is available as an optional feature. The updated software is designed for midsize and large businesses with between one hundred and ten thousand employees.

Kenya-based CompuLynx has also developed a face recognition and body temperature monitoring solution which works with masked individuals.

The new e-Face is designed to be used at workplaces, shopping malls, supermarkets, stores, hospitals, factories, healthcare sites, educational institutions and other locations to prevent high-risk people from entering.

The device is accurate within 0.3 degrees Celsius, according to the announcement. It can be integrated with access control systems, and sound an alarm if a high temperature is detected. The device can also store up to 100,000 images for facial recognition and provide time-stamped records.

San Antonio-based DOCUmation has launched a facial recognition, mask detection and body temperature scanning device to help schools and businesses reopen, local outlet KSAT reports.

The thermal scanner works with 98.3 percent accuracy in less than a second, according to the report, and reminds people not wearing a mask to do so.

So far, the device has been donated to area high school Por Vida Academy and a local non-profit.

There are more than 170 companies selling body temperature scanning and other fever-detection technologies, many of them including biometric facial recognition.

Hikvision cameras deployed to Buenos Aires trains

Facial recognition and body temperature and mask-checking technology from Hikvision has been deployed to commuter trains in Buenos Aires to prevent individuals with COVID-19 symptoms from entering the system, Xinhua News Agency reports via PML Daily.

The cameras work at a distance of up to 1.8 meters, and control turnstiles, which do not open if a fever or lack of mask is detected. The Argentine Ministry of Transportation launched a two-week pilot program with the state-owned Trenes Argentinos Operaciones to implement the technology to the Mitre Line, which is Buenos Aires main commuter line, according to the report. If the pilot is successful, the Hikvision cameras will be deployed to other rail lines.

Argentina has also deployed thermal imaging cameras from Dahua on Buenos Aires buses.

Early detection innovation continues

A Wall Street Journal reporter took the last few weeks to test out a range of wearable technologies with the promise of early COVID-19 detection,

The Oura ring, Fitbit, Garmin fitness band, Apple Watch and two skin patch devices measured reporter’s temperature, blood oxygen level, heart beat, and number of coughs, and sent the biometric data to a smartphone.

Experts suggest that being able to quarantine before the onset of symptoms could make a major difference in preventing transmission. Dr. Eric Topol of Scripps Research notes that many people with COVID-19 never develop fevers, and that those who do are particularly contagious before their temperature goes up.

Scripps is involved in early detection research with wearables makers. Voice recognition applied to coughs is another possible early detection method suggested by researchers.

But what if there is a better way to detect asymptomatic COVID-19 cases with biometrics?

Biometrics startup Global e-dentity has developed a technology it says can detect asymptomatic COVID-19 infections by detecting biometric characteristics like reduced hemoglobin level and altered blood vessel morphology.

“Using (NIR) Near Infrared light transducer and/or our custom-designed Ultrasound CMUT for multi-modal biometric identification,” explains Global e-dentity Founder and U.S. Navy veteran Robert Adams. “We’ve determined that during the scanning of the vascular network for identity we can identify asymptomatic individuals, in basic, noting the alteration in the blood vessel morphology and the degree of oxygen carrying capacity was severely reduced in asymptomatic individuals; these people then can be required to have a secondary RT-PCR screening before notifying authorities of a suspected Covid-19 infection.”

The company and a partner have tested the technology on more than 25,000 individuals with a 100 percent success rate, according to the solution’s webpage. Any detected infection would be verified with a clinical test.

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