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NEC and BioRugged provide thermal cameras to fight COVID, biometric solution launched by WildFaces

Thermal cameras from Hikvision removed from EU parliamentary premises

biometrics-based fever screening to increase public safety

NEC and BioRugged are helping deploy systems for body temperature checks in Kenya and South Africa, respectively, for COVID-19 spread prevention. Startup WildFaces has developed a biometric fever-scanning system, while thermal cameras from Hikvision have been removed from EU parliamentary premises.

NEC partners on deployment to Kenyan refugee settlement

A collaboration by NEC Corporation, NEC XON, the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat) and Japanese non-governmental organization working on emergency disaster response, Peace Winds Japan, has seen the provision of a thermography camera to help check the spread of COVID-19 in a local settlement in Kenya.

The camera is meant to monitor the body surface temperatures of inhabitants of the Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement in Turkana County in order to detect high fevers and help prevent the propagation of COVID-19 or other infectious diseases, a news release from NEC states. If a person has a high temperature, further steps are taken to handle the situation.

This also comes as activities which had been shut down at some facilities of the settlement and the district as a whole are beginning to reopen.

The move, the release notes, is meant to advance Goal Number 3 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and is also part of joint efforts since 2016 to make the settlement a more modern and sustainable residential area. Kenya has been receiving an influx of refugees and asylum-seekers from neighbouring countries like South Sudan. SDG 3 talks of healthy living and wellbeing for all and at all ages.
After installing the camera, some persons received training on how to operate it.

NEC says it will continue to leverage its technologies to provide secure and safe conditions for living and to meet the SDGs across Africa and elsewhere around the world.

BioRugged donates thermal scanners to SA primary school

As part of efforts to deal with the coronavirus pandemic and within the framework of its education support program, BioRugged has donated new thermal guns to the Bonwelong Primary School in South Africa.

The new thermal guns come as a relief as the establishment is said to have gone through severe difficulties following a breakdown of many of its thermal guns, according to a LinkedIn post by the biometric solutions-maker.

South Africa is one of the countries worst hit by the pandemic in Africa. The virus is expected to continue posing a major challenge to its education system right into 2022, and the support by BioRugged is seen as a critical step to continue to ensure proper and safe access to schools.

BioRugged said it was “proud” of the gesture which was made as part of its Thermal Guns Donation Program.

WildFaces develops system for fever scans in crowds

WildFaces has developed a biometric vision-based artificial intelligence software solution capable of identifying a person with a fever from a crowd.

The company said in an announcement that the tool, dubbed the IQ-FeverCheck, is built in its IQ-Anti-Contagion Suite. It can detect elevated body temperature with an automatic thermal scan and facial recognition technology.

IQ-FeverCheck is flexible and works well with almost all camera systems for recognition, is compatible with the mobile phone’s camera system, drones, body-worn cameras, and much more, WildFaces said.

The system comes with the IQ-Social Distancing feature which gives an alert when social distancing is not respected in a crowd, and the iQ-PPE configurable feature which can identify people who are not wearing masks in a gathering.

WildFaces said the platform can be used by organizations to check the spread of the virus and for scanning people seeking access into their premises.

EU parliament pulls down Hikvision fever cameras

Fever detection cameras from Hikvision installed around the premises of the European Parliament have been removed following a recent vote by the legislative body of the European Union.

The Hikvision cameras were installed in 2020 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, and the purpose was to screen those entering the premises for high fever, IPVM reports.

The move, fronted by Dutch lawmaker Lara Wolters, passed with the proposed amendment with support from 89.4 percent of Members of the European Parliament (MEP).

The removal was prompted by concerns raised by Wolters about the involvement of Hikvision in rights abuses in China including accusations of Hikvision supplying surveillance equipment to camps detaining Uyghurs in China’s Xinjiang region.

The endorsed amendment called on the Secretary General of the EU Parliament to terminate the contract with Hikvision and ensure that all cameras found in the Parliament premises are removed. IPVM said it confirmed the cameras had all been removed as directed by the MEPs.

IPVM quoted MEP Wolters as saying she had received a message from Hikvision questioning her call to see their cameras removed. The outlet however said it did not receive comment from the company on the matter upon request.

IPVM also referred back to its scientific study published in the Journal of Biomedical Optics which shows that many fever cameras manipulate body temperature readings.

This notwithstanding, Hikvision reported impressive revenue growth in 2020 mostly from the sale of its cameras and biometric technology.

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