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Biometrics

School access

A primary school in Oldham is using thermal access control. The installation at Farrowdale House School, pictured, is thought to be the first of its kind and comes as pupils returned to classrooms in September after the coronavirus lockdown imposed at Easter.

The deep-learning technology, developed by the British technology company Videcon, takes measurements from two points in the face to assess core body temperature so teachers can check if a child has a higher temperature than normal, a warning sign for someone who might be infected with COVID-19.

Pupils arriving at the school are met at the front door and, before entering a room with other children, are asked to look at themselves on a screen. There a heat-sensing camera is able to detect their temperature within 0.3 degrees C in 0.2 seconds.

Headteacher Ms Zoe Campbell said: “We want to protect not just our children, but teachers and parents as well. We had heard about temperature detecting technology being used in airports and public spaces, but these products are hugely expensive and are simply unaffordable.

“By a stroke of luck, the parent of one of our past pupils is the founder of Videcon who specialises in this sort of technology. We approached the company and were told they had just launched Thermi-Scan a facial recognition, mask detection and temperature sensing product aimed at helping small business in the post-COVID-19 era.

“We immediately recognised that Thermi-scan could be used in our school. We don’t currently use the facial detection or mask-wearing functions at present because we have no need for them, but the contactless temperature detection feature has been very reassuring for everyone,” she said.

Videcon’s Managing Director, Matt Rushall said: “We know how important it is to keep pupils, teachers and parents safe and we’re thrilled to see Farrowdale House School embracing the technology in this way.”

Background

Videcon launched Thermi-Scan in August, a facial recognition technology for ‘return to work’ applications after the COVID-19 outbreak. It’s been installed at businesses, schools, restaurants and care homes. Videcon claims that Thermi-Scan leads the field in usability and accuracy, with an ability to recognise and detect facial features from two metres away, customisable voice prompts to interact with users, and temperature accuracy of 0.3 degrees C.

West Yorkshire-based Videcon is a distributor of CCTV, fire intruder, door entry, access control and associated products. Visit www.videcon.co.uk.


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