HIPERWALL, ADVANTECH SEEK TO CURB COVID-19
Orange County companies are jumping into the field of measuring body temperatures in crowded places for signs of possible fever, in a first line of defense against the spread of COVID-19.
Irvine-based software maker Hiperwall Inc. has developed a COVID-19 thermal screening and signage system that helps slow the spread of COVID-19 by checking for people with elevated temperatures or fevers. The company’s HidraLink system is well suited for businesses with steady traffic, such as fast-food outlets, small restaurants, medical and dental office waiting rooms, retailers as well as colleges, universities and other locations. The company said its system provides employers, business owners and others some protection against lawsuit liability. HidraLink integrates a thermal imaging camera from manufacturers such as Flir, Seek or Fotric to provide real-time temperature screening of one to many people at once in high-traffic areas.
“You stand in front of it. It takes about 5 seconds to recognize you. It reads your eyes and from that it gives a temperature,” CEO Tom Scott told the Business Journal on July 9.
The results are immediate, transparent and viewable on the large display. The entire HidraLink system can be configured and run on a normal Windows PC. He said it’s better than temperature guns, which the company said can have plenty of false positives.
“The technology allows us to have somebody remotely with a PC, able to carry on their work on the PC but on the same screen see what’s going on with HidraLink,” Scott said. Hiperwall said a detection unit consisting of its software and a camera from an outside manufacturer costs about $5,000.
Another local company jumping into the field is Advantech North America in Irvine, which has introduced a new means of detection based on artificial intelligence.
The Visitor Thermal Screening System includes a thermographic smart camera, face recognition and thermal screening “to perform a quick scan of people who could be at risk, without the need for them to wait in line to enter an office, mall, stadium, etc.”
“I think the market is huge,” said Patrick Chen, product management supervisor told the Business Journal on July 9. A single Advantech unit costs around $6,000, according to Chen.
Supermarkets, shopping malls, casinos, restaurants and airports “can use this new technology to replace manual scanning,” he said.
The system “will only detect a human’s body temperature,” according to Chen. A strobe light and audio alarm notify operators immediately when a person with an elevated body temperature passes by.
Separately, a team at the University of California-Irvine’s Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences recently received funding from the National Science Foundation to explore the deployment of the university’s wireless network as part of a coronavirus contact tracing application.
The Wi-Fi-based application is expected to be transferable to other universities and beyond, while preserving participants’ anonymity.