Businesses Outfit Cameras With AI To Prevent Coronavirus Spread


During a pandemic such as this one it is critical that organizations be able to quickly identify people who might be sick, and one way to do that is to detect fever.

In an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus, businesses are retrofitting security cameras with artificial intelligence programs to track social distancing and temperature.

As businesses in the U.S. and Europe start to re-open offices and factories, many are worried about coronavirus spread damaging productivity and employee health.

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These solutions, which dozens of suppliers have launched in the past few months, aim to provide business owners with a simple way of managing the spread of coronavirus.

Kogniz Health has built a real-time fever and exposure detection platform, which a business can install at every office, warehouse or factory entrance to detect employees with a high temperature.

“During a pandemic such as this one it is critical that organizations be able to quickly identify people who might be sick, and one way to do that is to detect fever,” said Daniel Putterman, co-CEO of Kogniz.

“Handheld thermal guns are very expensive, labor intensive, and create a bottleneck. We are able to provide temperature detection for high-flow environments so individuals with elevated temperature can be further checked.”

Austin-based Athena Security is distributing a similar service, which has already been deployed in U.S. airports and to several Fortune 500 companies. In a press release, Athena CEO Lisa Falzone said the cameras were able to do 1,000 temperature readings an hour, enough for most businesses.

Dragontail Systems has retrofitted its quality control system to track social distancing and safeguards in restaurants. The cameras ensure employees aren’t transmitting the virus through poor food hygiene, and notify a superior if there are any issues.

Speaking to Reuters, 16 video analytics companies said they have added offerings for businesses looking to tackle coronavirus. In many cases, these solutions are far cheaper than hiring dedicated staff to scan every employee before entry.

Are AI Cameras Overselling Their Use?

There is a worry that these AI solutions, some of which are untested in large environments, may be overselling their services to customers. A few claim they can spot sneezing and coughing, which has been regarded as bogus by experts.

“Most solutions will be in uncharted territory, without a proven track record, and likely susceptible to false-positives and bugs,” said Vinay Goel, a former Google Maps product leader, to Reuters.

Some employees and business owners also see the introduction of security cameras inside offices, restaurants, and factories as too invasive for what they offer. Several have instead purchased a box from Indyme Solutions, which warns employees on entry to maintain social distancing.

David Curry

About David Curry

David is a technology writer with several years experience covering all aspects of IoT, from technology to networks to security.

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