Ensure Social Distancing and Maximize Safety with Terabee’s COVID-19 Solutions
Terabee has released three new devices intending to make it easier for businesses to operate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With governments issuing ever-changing guidelines on what is considered ‘acceptable’ social distancing, it can be hard for the public to keep track of (and adhere to) best practices. Monitoring and controlling the number of people that are allowed to enter offices, factories, shops, public spaces, and other premises has, therefore, become a responsibility that those businesses and organizations must take on themselves: The CDC advises that employers “should respond in a way that takes into account the level of disease transmission in their communities and revise their business response plans as needed”.
There’s no question that organizations of all sizes are making great efforts to accommodate these guidelines. People density and distancing can be managed fairly effectively by limiting the number of people allowed into premises and reminding people to keep their distance – though this often brings with it an administrative burden, with shops and businesses designating personnel to manually manage the number of people entering and leaving.
Identifying people who may be infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) and attempting to prevent them from coming into contact with others is more challenging. Testing takes both time and money – and with even the fastest tests taking around 30 minutes, testing people for the virus before they enter public spaces or business premises is not a viable option. Monitoring symptoms gives us a way of identifying at least some likely COVID-19 cases – many airports have started using infrared thermometers to screen passengers for fever – but even this can be impractical and costly to implement.
Fortunately, sensing technology can provide solutions to many of the difficulties associated with managing the spread of the virus. Infrared depth cameras are highly effective for people counting, which can be used to monitor and manage people density in busy spaces whilst infrared thermal sensors can be used for versatile automatic fever detection. Meanwhile, Radio Frequency (RF) sensors offer a more robust and accurate solution to maintaining safe distances between people.
Monitoring Symptoms with Fever Screening
Terabee’s Fever Detection Mirror uses an IR thermal sensor to measure human body temperature and detect signs of fever.4 The wall-mounted mirror features a visual indicator to inform users when they’re in the correct position in front of it, at which point their temperature is displayed.
The contactless system can optionally be networked by HDMI or ethernet but is completely privacy-protected and GDPR-compliant by design. The IR sensor used is highly sensitive to temperature but, unlike a camera, it doesn’t capture any identifying features of users.
The device is portable and as easy to install as a picture frame. Since there’s no need for a human operator, the Fever Detection Mirror represents a much lower cost of operation than manually operated infrared thermometers. This makes it ideal for scanning people as they enter shops, offices, schools, transport hubs, and other busy spaces.
Minimizing Disease Transmission Risk with Density People Counting
Terabee’s People Density Calculator is another 3D depth Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensor device, this time aimed at addressing the issue of maintaining acceptable social distancing in busy spaces.5 The3D infrared depth sensor is used (along with proprietary algorithms) to count the number of people entering and exiting a space. This information can then be used to calculate people density – the average number of people occupying each square meter within that space.
The sensors are easily networked and configured via an intuitive web-based interface. This makes it simple to set up people density monitoring even in spaces with multiple entrances and exits. The calculated people density can then be used to send outputs to trigger screens or other visual indicators.
Like the Fever Detection Mirror, this system doesn’t capture identifying features of the people it counts, making it intrinsically secure and GDPR-compliant. And, once again, these devices are completely automatic, so staff no longer need to be deployed to manually monitor entrances and exits.
Maintaining Social Distancing in the Workplace with Radio Frequency Proximity Sensing
For a more thorough approach to social distancing, Terabee have developed the Distance@Work system: a radio frequency interpersonal distance monitoring system designed for workplaces.
The system comprises portable sensors that are worn by members of staff. The sensors monitor their distance from each other using radio frequency ToF ranging, and users are alerted with visual, haptic, and audible feedback in the event of a distance breach.
The devices are ultra-portable, boasting over 20+ hours of continuous operation on a single charge, and featuring integrated belt clips and lanyard loops. Proximity data with IDs and timestamps are logged and processed internally and regularly backed up to a server via long-range LoRaWAN connectivity.
The Distance@Work system is ideal for factories, warehouses, construction sites, and other environments where staff regularly move from place to place. Distance sensing is accurate to ±10 cm and can help to ensure that staff can do their jobs without worrying about the transmission of the coronavirus.