Writer's Series

5. Face recognition & thermal sensing

5. Face recognition & thermal sensing

As we move forward, more and more spaces are using facial recognition and thermal sensing to improve security and provide access, among other functions. These are tech solutions to issues that have long been solved by human intervention. But people are becoming more familiar with interaction with machines. This interaction will only increase in the future as we look to technology to help make our lives easier and more efficient.

We’re always looking to make progress. One of the solutions that have been proposed to solve many of the existing problems in the world is AI. But these two letters don’t do the applications justice. AI can take a million forms. One of those is to assist with the security and biosecurity of an area. Using tech means freeing up staff from being gatekeepers to providing other services. Because of this, businesses, governmental bodies, and others can benefit from reduced staffing costs and increased security via face recognition and thermal sensing. Let’s take a look in more detail at what these tech solutions mean.

Face recognition

Facial recognition is both a security and a biosecurity measure in as much as it allows management of access to a space. Current measures often consist of a guard at an automatic gate and a pass system. The passes can be lost, handed to other people, stolen, forgotten, or generally misused. From a logistical sense, it is time-consuming, and the intervention of a guard or other security personnel adds a heavy additional cost to a business or whoever else is operating a space. This cost rises the longer the opening hours of that space or the more visitors as more interventions are required.

HLDS’s facial recognition technology takes this burden away, using the fact that all faces have differences that can be detected by AI and using that to allow or deny access accordingly. No more forgotten or shared passes. No more direct manual intervention by security personnel. And the costs of these can diminish rapidly too.

Thermal sensing

Put simply, there is a limited range of temperature for a human body to be – between 36.2 to 37.3 degrees Celsius. This narrow range means that a human can be detected by a thermal sensor accurately. If someone is below or above this normal range, then there are health issues. Lower temperatures indicate cell damage. Higher temperatures indicate a possible fever or a virus such as a coronavirus, for example.

And it has been the coronavirus pandemic that has caused operators to consider who to let into their space – including schools, workplaces, factories, buildings, and public facilities such as airports and train stations. Knowing the likely health status and infection status of everyone entering your space is a massive step in the right direction when it comes to controlling disease, again as we have seen during the COVID pandemic. A raised temperature is one of the first signs of a virus as the body fights the virus. Other signs include cough, muscle pain, nausea, and lethargy. These are more difficult to measure. But taking the temperature of people is a good indicator of potential viral risk.

How does the tech work?

HLDS has developed a self-thermal tech that measures body temperature quickly and accurately. It links to the facial recognition software to give two points of recognition before allowing access. It uses an IR or infrared sensor aimed at the forehead and eye region as these are close to body temperature, giving an accurate reading. It then cross-references this temperature reading against expected body temperature, taking into account the environment, ambient temperature, and other factors.

This allows rapid and accurate entry systems. Imagine a near future when you can walk into a shared public space safe in the knowledge that all of the other occupants of that space have been checked to ensure that they should be there - and are not potentially carrying a virus or infection that is easily spread. It opens up the world again to the vulnerable who have had to shield for much of the last few years due to the risk of exposure. And the rest of the population can go out there with a lower fear of becoming ill – or passing on an illness that maybe they didn’t even know they had.

Why do we need to screen people?

In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, screening was performed in one of two main ways –

  1. Relying on each individual to notice and act upon signs of potential infection.
  2. Manually checking each and every person.

The first of these carries the inherent risk that someone might not feel unwell but still be carrying the virus – that they are asymptomatic. The second of these methods is labor-intensive and can also increase the risk of infection because the staff making the checks are in close contact with many people during the course of a day or week.

And that’s where technology comes in. TST & TSB from HLDS combines to check facial recognition and cross reference this against a database of people that have permission to be inside a space. If this is a workplace, then that would be an employee or visitor list. If that is a public space, then it will be linked to people who have a valid ticket, for example. Then the thermal sensing tech takes over and ensures that the person with permission to enter isn’t liable to cause infection among the other people safely inside. All businesses have a greater duty of care to their people (employees, visitors, customers). Using HLDS’s technology here will help ensure that everyone is looked after. Get in touch to find out more about how we can help.

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