With the ongoing pandemic, people have become more conscious about the health and safety of their families and loved ones. Everyone’s primary concern is their health, and the only way of ensuring that is through strict monitoring. Nowadays, every public place has incorporated monitoring measures for ensuring people’s safety. Most public places use IR thermometers or Infrared thermometers for monitoring people’s body temperatures. One person holds the thermometer pointed towards the subject’s forehead and then the temperature measurement result is displayed on the digital screen of the Infrared thermometer. People with normal body temperatures are allowed to enter public premises, whereas people with elevated body temperatures are prohibited from entering.
What is an Infrared Thermometer?
An Infrared thermometer or an IR thermometer is a type of thermometer that measures temperature by sensing the thermal radiation emitted by the subject. They are also known as temperature guns, or non-contact thermometers, or laser thermometers. They are capable of measuring the temperature of an object from a distance.
General Characteristics of an Infrared Thermometer
These are some of the general characteristics of an Infrared thermometer:
- Temperatures can be measured in both scales, i.e., Fahrenheit and Celsius.
- It measures the temperature and displays the result within a few seconds, typically 1 to 2 seconds.
- The handgrip is very comfortable.
- It is a battery-powered device.
- It has several color indicators for indicating light, normal, or high fever.
- It has a “Mode” button, that allows you to set the temperature measurement type. The mode can be surface or body.
- It has a battery indicator for displaying the status of its battery.
- It stores the previous measurements.
- It has an “auto shut off” feature that automatically switches it off after staying inactive for fifteen seconds.
Advantages and Disadvantages of an Infrared Thermometer
There are several advantages and disadvantages of Infrared Thermometers. They are:
- No-contact: It allows temperature measurement from a distance. Maintaining distance is a primary concern now, due to the ongoing pandemic. So, when the Infrared thermometers are used for measuring the temperature, there is absolutely zero physical contact. This ensures the utmost safety and makes it very convenient in these tough times.
- Measure temperature on the go: It can also measure the temperatures of moving objects. Public places are always in a rush and people are always on the go. Stopping them and measuring their temperature slowly, might be very annoying and inconvenient. Infrared thermometers can easily measure the temperatures of people, while they are in motion. That is the main reason why most public places incorporated IR thermometers for monitoring body temperatures.
- Wide variety of applications: An infrared thermometer operates just fine for several applications, be it residential, commercial, or industrial. You can use these thermometers at any public place, like shopping malls, educational institutes, offices, retail stores, factories, etc.
- Data storage capacity: Infrared thermometers have advanced measurement and memory functionality. Some of the devices come with internal and external storage spaces to store temperature-related data for future reference.
- Ease-of-use: Infrared thermometers are very easy to use, and anybody can use them without any prior experience.
- The convenience of operation: These thermometers are very lightweight. You can easily operate it. These have compact structures that make them convenient and also give them a smart look.
- Technical advantage: It has an auto switch-off function, as a result of which the thermometer gets switched off automatically after remaining unused for 15 seconds. This saves the battery life of these thermometers. Its operating principle allows the temperature measurement of inaccessible objects.
- Affordable for all: It isn’t that expensive, so it can be afforded by many. However, to get some additional features, you may need a better version of conventional IR thermometers. It also ensures more accuracy.
The main advantage of an Infrared thermometer is the fact that it displays results very fast. Temperature measurement and the display of results take a total time of few seconds. Everyone is in a hurry, and people want fast results. This is why these thermometers are so popular and are used by all.
- Infrared thermometers can’t measure the temperatures of liquids or gases.
- These thermometers work fine only in humid, clean, and dustless environments.
- It might have a marginal accuracy based on the model of the thermometer.
- The specialty meters can cost a lot.
- It is important to point the device towards the hand or forehead carefully, otherwise, the infrared rays might affect the subject’s eyes.
- Both the target surface and the device need to be in LOS (i.e., Line of Sight), for it to deliver accurate temperature measurements. The thermometer can’t be placed too far from the object, otherwise, it won’t give accurate results.
- The biggest disadvantage of these thermometers is inaccuracy. The accuracy gets affected by several factors, including weather conditions. This might lead to incorrect temperature readings, thereby compromising everyone else’s safety.
The Inaccuracy Problem
Infrared thermometers can accurately measure skin temperature. But sometimes, the skin temperature has got nothing to do with your actual core body temperature. This is where the problem arises. Have you ever wondered whether your forehead temperature truly tells anything about your health? When the surrounding conditions are ideal, and increased forehead temperature indicated fever. But most of the time, the surrounding conditions aren’t ideal for accurate core body temperature measurements.
This mainly happens in cold-weather countries. When people roam around in extremely cold weather, their skin temperature automatically drops. The skin temperature can get decreased or increased due to several factors, irrespective of the actual core body temperature. Some of these factors are:
- If you have some skin conditions
- If you have just finished eating
- If you are drunk
- If you are wearing a lot of clothes
- If you have just finished exercising
- If you get sunburns
- If you are under the influence of extreme weather conditions
All these factors can influence your skin temperature, irrespective of your actual core body temperature. So, even if you are having a fever, the temperature reading might be normal. Similarly, the reading might also indicate a fever, even when you don’t have any fever. Either way, it is dangerous. When you don’t have any fever, you aren’t allowed to enter somewhere because of the high-temperature reading, it can be very disadvantageous and disheartening. On the other hand, when you have a fever, but you aren’t stopped from entering somewhere just because the temperature reading is normal, it can be very risky for others around you as well as yourself. Not only people around you will get affected by you, but you will be unaware of your health condition as well. Being unaware of your health condition is even more dangerous because you think you are doing fine and so you won’t take the necessary steps required to improve your condition.
How can MachineSense Help Solve This Problem?
Our company, MachineSense has already created a buzz with its latest FeverWarn temperature scanners that allow you to get their temperatures measured accurately from your wrists and fists. Now, we have come up with the brand new OPX technology that promises to solve this inaccuracy problem of the Infrared thermometers once and for all.
Our engineers, at MachineSense, have developed this technology to be a permanent solution for measuring your core body temperature, irrespective of the external factors. This technology uses some additional sensor readings, like the spatial scanning distance and the ambient temperature. An Artificial Intelligence algorithm is combined with these spatial geometric sensors. This combination filters out all the effects of the hot and cold weather, thereby producing accurate results. OPX technology is an absolute game changer and is way ahead of its time. This revolutionary discovery is going to take the world by storm and is going to make all other temperature measuring devices obsolete.