Vodafone Launches Heat-Detection Camera to Locate COVID-19

Vodafone Thermal Featured

While the world tries to get the economy going once again, news in the IoT sphere is coming in at a fast pace. Not even a month ago, the news discussed the possibility of using heat sensors to locate ill people. Now, Vodaphone is launching a heat-detection camera to locate COVID-19. It’s geared toward use by businesses in the U.K. Let’s explore what the technology in the camera does and how it revolutionizes COVID-19 detection.

How the Technology Works

There’s a big problem with the current COVID-19 pandemic: people can spread the disease without feeling strong symptoms, meaning they’re likely to visit stores while in a contagious state.

Vodafone Thermal Supermarket

Until a vaccine is developed, keeping two meters distance from everyone is a good prevention method. However, there is a way to spot people who have the virus but who haven’t realized it yet: their temperature.

One of the major signs of a coronavirus infection is a fever. As such, if someone enters a store with an above-average temperature, they can be redirected to a quarantine zone where their symptoms are analyzed further. However, sticking a thermometer in every visitor’s mouth is unrealistic!

One way to check for ill people is via a heat camera. That way, patrons don’t need to do anything – they can use the store as normal. The camera will check their temperature as they shop and ensure that they’re healthy. If they’re not, they can be taken aside by staff to further investigate if they have COVID-19.

How Vodafone Fills this Niche

Vodafone is now offering a product that can do just that. They teamed up with security-system supplier Digital Barriers to design a camera that detects body heat.

Vodafone Thermal Camera

Vodafone’s offering is very impressive. It can process a hundred people every minute and can accurately guess someone’s temperature within 0.3 degrees Celcius. This margin of error is small enough that someone with a raised temperature would be easy to spot over healthy people.

Vodafone’s CEO, Scott Perry, says:

The Heat-[[Detection Camera brings together Vodafone’s expertise in IoT with innovative technology and a secure managed service to create an enterprise-grade solution that protects employees and front-of-house staff.

Our IoT network can connect many cameras quickly and without disruption in almost any location.

Why This Is a Huge Step for IoT

IoT’s primary strength in the war against the coronavirus is its lack of human interaction. Because it removes the human element of the testing, it makes the testing itself a lot safer.

We joked about stores giving customers thermometers before, but if it became a reality, the interaction between an employee and a customer would put both in danger. An employee may get sick from performing the tests and may then infect others they test.

By using this method with the heat-detection camera, there’s no need to perform a physical test on everyone. Of course, technology being as it is, any suspected ill people will require physical measurements to ensure it wasn’t a false positive; however, this is a lot better and easier to do than testing everyone.

Things Are Heating Up for IoT

With COVID-19 stealthily spreading, it’s important to catch people as soon as they begin to show symptoms. Vodafone is turning a good idea into a reality by introducing a heat-detection camera to businesses. These can be used to locate coronavirus sufferers to prevent them from spreading the virus further.

Vodafone isn’t the only business using this idea. Rokid T1 Smart Glasses will detect the temperature of people near the wearer. With COVID-19 spreading around the world, we need to ask; could IoT do more to help defeat the coronavirus?

Simon Batt Simon Batt

Simon Batt is a freelance writer who loves fiction, technology, history, and cats.

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