news – July 2020
RichTech has created two thermal imaging devices that automatically take a person’s temperature in under two seconds.
By Douglas Weinstein
UNFORTUNATELY, THE UNITED STATES HAS NOT BENT THE CURVE, much less developed any national directive or plan to eradicate the novel coronavirus. And recent tests indicate even those who have contracted Covid-19 might become non-immune in just a few months. The bottom line is that the little bugger will be around for some time.
One of the interesting technologies that is being deployed in the commercial sector deals with thermographic systems. In short, a thermal imaging device that is able to automatically take one’s temperature in under two seconds and with accuracy to within 0.5 degrees. While these systems are not FDA approved and are no substitute for an actual Covid-19 test, taking people’s temperature has become the first line of defense for retail and commercial environments.
One of the companies I’m following is RichTech. They make two pretty slick devices, one emulating a mobile phone and one emulating a tablet. These automated devices can be wall-mounted, placed on small stands, or attached to floor-standing kiosks. You will probably start noticing these types of devices at your local Starbucks and movie theaters and any establishment where you queue up for entry. Since they are automated, establishments won’t have to use labor (a real person) to stand in place all day taking people’s temperatures.
There are of course the usual tech advances embedded into these designs: the system is set to alert at 99.5 degree F by default, it is truly a plug-n-play for easy set up, and no one’s data is stored (and certainly not transmitted back to the manufacturer!). And not only that, but you can push notifications to a computer monitor, security desk or authenticate for automated doors (so you can remotely test day jobbers and allow them to gain access to work on the plumbing or clean the property).
TD Magazine will be exploring these new devices in greater detail in the upcoming Summer issue. I’m pretty interested in these because I can see where design-build professionals would suggest and actually design them into wealthy clients residences. Image this coming winter in Aspen – people will still have parties and no one is going to want to hang out on the door stoop taking temperatures! Instead, an automated thermal imaging device that can signal if someone appears to have way too high of a temperature would go a long way at alleviating the first line of defense. Social distancing and masks and hand sanitizer will still be ubiquitous at these gatherings (with any luck), but taking one’s temperature is and will continue to become a part of the new normal.