When the pandemic first started, experts warned everyone about contaminated surfaces, like doorknobs, handles, chairs, and desks that may have been touched by COVID-19 infected people. They emphasized the need to sanitize all such surfaces and develop contactless systems for day-to-day activities. Once the lockdown started to lift, improved sanitization measures were adopted to disinfect such common areas, where the virus is supposed to stay for long.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, viruses on surfaces take at least a few hours or days to die, with exposure to air or sunlight affecting the duration. Routine cleaning with soap and water was recommended for every such surface that may have come in touch with the virus. Even advanced sanitizers and UV-light rays were used to disinfect surfaces. But electronic equipment, like buttons in an elevator, electrical switches, and circuits could not be disinfected in the same manner as other surfaces. Hence, people adopted contactless systems to minimize spreading.
Biometric attendance was one such system that could not be sanitized regularly with water or sanitizers. If all employees entering an office building went through the traditional biometric attendance system, the chances of infections increased. On the advice of health experts, the idea for contactless biometric systems gained prominence after the lockdown. One of them was the facial recognition system that helped prevent contact, besides tracking people with the virus.
Can thermal imaging replace standard biometric systems?
Using thermal imaging cameras, people suffering from fever were barred entry to public spaces, including office buildings. However, not all businesses could install facial-recognition thermal-imagining cameras owing to high expenses, lack of space, or other issues. The thermal imaging cameras also fail to identify objects with irregular temperature levels, due to varying degrees of reflection from the surface. With an accuracy rate of lower than +/-2%, these may not be helpful in crowded situations, when everyone is rushing to get inside in the peak hours.
So, what is the probable solution to these issues? How can contactless biometric attendance be effective in maintaining employee records as well as rendering them safe from the virus?
Types of contactless biometric attendance system
Even since the initial days of the pandemic, scientists and manufacturers have been working hand-in-hand to develop a contactless system in every sector. They came up with thermal guns, no-contact thermometers, and everything that prevented people from violating the social distancing norms. The contact-less biometric systems were also an innovative development to increase the security of working professionals.
A group of Japanese developers came up with the idea of installing a contactless biometric authentication system on the security doors to identify people with their masks on. Fujitec, a supplier of transportation systems, and Optex, a tech-development company, and manufacturer, propelled the idea of contactless elevator sensors that used hand signals to open/close doors.
In India, CEOs shunned the use of traditional fingerprint biometrics and opted for contactless facial recognition systems to mark attendance. A German company popularized the idea of installed thermal-imaging cameras on their iris-recognition biometric system to prevent infected people from entering the premises. It is expected to measure the temperature of up to 5 people and ensure maximum accuracy from a distance of even 2 meters. However, recording the temperature and other data of people entering a building is essential to track down the infected population and who they have come in close contact with. Hence, the offices need a system that not only identifies people with fever but also records their temperature data to avoid liabilities in the future.
Thermal-scanning + Biometric attendance system – Will it work?
One may think that two successive processes of temperature detection and biometric attendance marking can help increase the safety of the employees in the building. But the process seems too lengthy and hazardous, with the need to keep someone at the entrance at all times. It also increases the health risk of that official, who may have to wear a PPE kit throughout the day to avoid coming in contact with infected people. And that is both expensive and impractical!
Further, the thermal-scanning systems that detect the temperature of every person entering a building may also fail to provide accuracy. Sweat on the forehead, makeup, masks, or headgears may alter the temperature readings and even allow an infected individual to enter the building. If the fist and wrist technology is used, the readings will be accurate, no doubt, but the officials operating the fever scanners may come in close contact with an infected person. It is difficult to stand in the sun all day, wearing a PPE kit and measuring the temperature of every person entering a public space.
Hence, all offices need a self-sufficient thermal-scanner that will also work as a biometric attendance system.
Are you wondering how? Let us explain!
A two-in-one biometric attendance system to fight the pandemic
All you need is a self-sufficient device that detects temperature from the fist or wrist of the approaching person from a distance. The person need not touch the device, as it will detect the infrared radiation from the surface of the skin and measure the temperature accordingly. All living beings impart some amount of infra-red radiation that helps detect elevations in core body temperature. In the military, thermal cameras using this infra-red technology are used to detect the movement of ‘warm’ objects, humans or animals, in the dark. The technology is called thermography and is extensively used in industrial and healthcare sectors today.
In advanced no-contact thermometers, the temperature is recorded from the wrist or fist of an individual. Circulation of blood carries temperature elevations to every part of the body. As the arteries are close to the skin surface on your wrist, the accuracy of detecting fever increases. Abnormal body temperature levels will set off alarms, informing everyone in the vicinity to be careful. The temperature will also be displayed on the screen to inform the concerned person about his/her fever.
It is not all. The device should also be able to record the temperature readings of everyone to track down infection graphs or avoid liabilities. Probably, a USB or cloud storage attached to the device may help store the data securely for future references. If the system permits, you may even install them on SMART doors to act in coherence with the security locks. Only if a person shows normal temperature levels, s/he will be allowed entry into the building. For others, the doors will be shut automatically.
As the device will store the data of each employee, like names and temperature, attendance marking will be no hazard at all. Thus, no additional fingerprint or iris-recognition system will be required.
Seems like some sci-fi movie? Well, it is possible!
Enters FeverWarn – The touch-less biometric attendance system
FeverWarn is an automated FDA-compliant temperature scanner using infrared technology to detect the temperature of each person entering a building or an open space. Designed and developed in the US, it is a self-sufficient system that can be mounted on a stand or the wall, thus needing no professional to handle it. Everyone can get their temperatures checked by protruding their fists under the scanner without touching it. The infrared technology used by FeverWarn is so powerful that it can detect temperature from a distance and show it on the screen.
But the most impressive feature of FeverWarn is it comes with both USB and additional cloud storage to store mounds of data without fail. One can both mark the employee attendance and their temperature at the time of arrival to track down infected people if any. Some versions of the device also help control external doors, security gates, etc., through USB port relays, thus ensuring maximum safety. If you do not have a fever, you will be free to enter. However, if your temperature readings are abnormal, the doors will be shut for you. As FeverWarn offers storage for up to 20 million scans, installing only one master device in the building would be enough. You may download these data to store on a hard disk later.
How MachineSense can help
Machine sense is a US-based tech manufacturer that develops all kinds of tech equipment for seamless functioning. FeverWarn is their product along with others that may help make lives easier for many. By purchasing the FeverWarn device from its parent company, you may get them at an affordable rate with an assurance of quality. Further, the engineering team at MachineSense can also offer customizations on the standard device to meet your specific needs and requirements. If you need additional equipment, they can also supply those without burning a hole in your pocket.
Wrapping it up
The pandemic has hastened innovations to a pace never witnessed before. Manufacturers, engineers, and suppliers are on their toes to increase safety and security measures in critical times. Due to these scientific advancements, we are now more than ready to combat the current pandemic and probable ones in the future. If you have not considered integrating such high-tech equipment in your business premises, it is high time you do. After all, it is a question of safety, making it one of the essential investments of the current times.