Do Infrared Thermometers Give Accurate Readings in Cold Weather?

Do Infrared Thermometers Give Accurate Readings in Cold Weather?

Posted by Machine Sense on

Nowadays, our temperatures are checked everywhere we go. No matter if it is an airport, shopping mall, restaurant, movie hall, etc. The ongoing pandemic has had a severe impact on the human life. People are now very conscious about their health and hygiene, so that they can prevent themselves from getting infected by COVID-19 and other similar kinds of diseases.

The most significant part of prevention is monitoring. We need to monitor ourselves on a regular basis, so that even if there is a slight change in body temperature or health at large, we get to realize it immediately. Monitoring is more important in public places because if it is not done, sick people may enter the crowd and can infect more people. This is why our temperatures are checked every time before entering any place. People, whose temperatures are found to be normal, are allowed to enter the premise.

If the temperature reading is slightly above normal, indicating fever, people are not allowed to enter public places. At present, most of these places use infrared thermometers as a mass-screening tool.

What is an infrared Thermometer?

Infrared thermometers are devices that measure the temperature from the thermal radiation emitted by the concerned object. This device is also called laser thermometer, because it uses laser to aim at the subject. Also known as temperature guns or non-contact thermometers, the device can measure temperature from a distance, thus making it apt for the current situation. These comprise of a lens responsible for focusing the IR thermal radiation onto a detector. This detector is responsible for converting the radiant power into an electrical signal, which is then displayed on the screen in the units of temperature. The mechanism allows the device to take temperature readings without coming in direct contact with the subject to be measured.

So, here comes the main question, “Are these readings accurate all the time?”. The answer is no. The infrared thermometers cannot guarantee accuracy because of various reasons as follow:

  • If the target size is small, it should be placed closer to the device. If it is big, then it should be placed a little far. If this thing is not kept in mind, and the target goes out of the device’s visual field, then the readings are likely to be inaccurate.
  • The IR thermometer must be kept far from an electrical interference source. If not, it can affect the temperature readings.
  • Air pollutants like dust, smoke, etc., can affect the lens of the IR thermometers, thereby producing inaccurate results.
  • A wrong angle of measurement can also impact the temperature readings.
  • If we are wearing makeup, the temperature readings may get affected.
  • If we are wearing a hat, and the device measures temperature from the forehead, we may get inaccurate results.
  • If the outside weather is too hot or too cold, the temperature readings displayed by the infrared thermometers are most likely to be influenced by it, thus giving inaccurate readings.

Among all the factors that affect the accuracy of infrared thermometers, the most prominent one is external weather. Sometimes, near ambient temperatures, the measurements can be inaccurate. This is because the radiation gets reflected from a hotter body. In this article, we will be discussing about the effects of temperature on the infrared thermometers and how those can be overcome.

Inaccuracy Issues

Infrared thermometers are non-invasive, quick, and simple. These are easy to manage, thereby making to preference list. These thermometers can measure temperatures continuously without interrupting movements. People going inside the airport or shopping mall, can get checked on the go without even having to stop. These reasons make it apt for the current pandemic. But the important thing is, the readings are not accurate all the time. The IR thermometers provide instantaneous results almost within 2 seconds, but these are hardly accurate.

Each and every electronic device' accuracy gets affected by the outside environment. When there are significant changes in the ambient temperature, errors are common. The same goes for the readings of IR thermometers. If we take the IR thermometer to a chilly place, the temperature reading will significantly decrease by five to six degrees.

When it is extremely cold outside, our skin temperature runs low too. Even if we have fever, our skin temperature will be low, if the outside temperature is cold. These infrared thermometers measure our skin temperatures from our foreheads. When the outside temperature is low, our forehead temperature is also low, thus hiding the fever. As a result, the temperature readings show no fever, and the person is allowed to enter everywhere. These inaccurate readings are disadvantageous in both ways. If the temperature reading of a person having fever comes as normal, he or she is allowed to enter the premises, thereby risking everyone else. Similarly, if the temperature reading of a person with no fever, comes as high, he or she is barred entry, thus affecting all sorts of activities, even if he/she is not sick.

In case we keep the thermometer in a cold place for a long time for about twenty to thirty minutes, it can then provide somewhat accurate results. But nobody has that much time to spend. However, if we do not wait, we will keep receiving inaccurate results.

Experts have already researched the matter and opined that the conventional IR thermometers are not reliable, especially when the entire world is at risk. So, is there a solution to the accuracy issue?

How can we offer a solution?

At MachineSense, we have found the perfect solution to this problem. Earlier, our company became popular for manufacturing FeverWarn temperature scanners that measure temperatures from our wrists and fists. That ensured accurate temperature readings, as our wrists mostly stay inside our jackets and sweaters, thereby they do not get affected by the outside weather. Moreover, it was a self-service device, unlike infrared thermometers, which made them more convenient.

Now, our scientists have come up with the OPX Technology, which can remove this inaccuracy issue once and for all! It is an algorithmic solution that allows the thermometers to measure the original core body temperature, irrespective of the outside weather. This technology uses some additional sensor readings, that makes it capable of measuring the actual body temperature.

Earlier, the temperature scanners used to function in between 70 degrees and 94 degrees. The performance of the infrared thermometers was poor in direct sunlight, even when they were inside a building. This gave rise to a lot of problems for everyone, especially for school kids.

Now, how this OPX technology solves this problem?

This technology has a combination of an artificial intelligent algorithm and spatial geometric sensors, thereby allowing it to filter out all the hot or cold weather effects. Therefore, the final reading we receive is always accurate. It is an ahead-of-time technology that is going to be revolutionary. All the other no-touch thermometers are going to be obsolete very soon.

At MachineSense, we are going to manufacture specialized shields and housings, with inbuilt OPX technology. This will allow accurate temperature measurements outside the building gates as well. This OPX technology inbuilt thermometers are futuristic devices meant for the welfare of the human kind. We know not what tomorrow holds. So, isn't it better to stay prepared at all times? Contact us for relevant queries and doubts regarding the device.