CCTV could have a vital role to play as we exit lockdown
New tech that allows cameras to check for fever symptoms could allow businesses and schools to reopen with confidence
CCTV can be used for many things, from deterring vandals and criminals to facilitating secure entry systems. Now, in the age of Coronavirus, it can also be used to take temperatures.
As the world starts to emerge from the lockdown enforced by the pandemic, the focus is now on making events and businesses as safe as possible. One common measure being used to reduce the spread of the virus is the taking of temperatures, which can be used as a basis to refuse entry to anyone suspected of having a fever – a key symptom of Coronavirus.
With large-scale events and conferences allowed to resume in the UK from October 1st, 2020, the question is being raised as to how security guards can take individual temperatures at venues that can hold hundreds or thousands of people without making entry prohibitively slow.
As with most conundrums, the technology industry has a solution, and companies are harnessing software that can turn CCTV cameras into heat-seeking scanners.
Platinum CCTV is one such company. It has launched a new camera that takes just 0.2 seconds to scan body temperatures and is accurate to 0.5 degrees Celsius. The PT-AS7213X-T1 Thermal IP camera can also automatically detect if someone is wearing a mask. It can then use this data to control access to buildings where security cards are needed for entry – a useful feature as the government starts to softly encourage businesses to get workers back into offices.
“Preventing entry of customers and employees with a fever or without a mask helps keep everyone safer,” Platinum chief executive Michael Dunteman told Find Biometrics, adding that the camera has been priced at a level to make it affordable to smaller businesses. “This camera facilitates that process automatically for small businesses everywhere, making it easier for people to return to work.”
Schools are another area where this technology could be useful, with all British schools expected to return to full capacity in September. Aylesbury-based IAG Technology has already started experimenting with this, installing thermal-imaging cameras at The Great Marlow School in its local area of South Buckinghamshire.
“Airports are trialling CCTV to check body temperature, so we spoke to schools about having them in the main entrance area,” IAG Technology operations director Gary Wade told The Bucks Herald. “You get an image of the person whose temperature its recording and the temperature recorded right next to it on the screen. The margin of error is 0.5 degrees and we can potentially get it down to 0.3 with extra technology.”
At the start of the pandemic, the role of CCTV seemed to diminish as the wearing of face masks made it more difficult to identify people. However, this evolution of what we use cameras for could give it a whole new lease of life as people, businesses and schools prepare for a return to the new normal.
Learn techniques and skills, get your SIA license and start a rewarding career. Go to: https://free2learn.org.uk/free-cctv-training-courses/ and register today!