We’ve been busy testing the new Kentix SmartXcan Fever Screening device, throughout this blog we’ll be sharing our findings and thoughts in our Kentix SmartXcan Review.
The Kentix SmartXcan (which we pronounce Smart Scan) is designed to quickly take a reading of human body temperature for the purpose of fever screening.
What is it?
The idea is that you have the device inside the entrance to your building and any visitors, staff etc. will scan themselves on entry before proceeding further. If their body temperature is above a certain threshold then a visual and audible alarm sounds and that person must then leave (and would probably be recommended to self-isolate).
I feel that this will play an important part in controlling the spread of COVID-19 as we learn to live with the virus in the longer term. I also feel that people’s attitudes towards the spread of illness will change forever and people will be more aware of bringing any illness into a workplace such as influenza.
The device is a compact unit in plastic casing, there are no buttons on it for normal usage so it is designed to be zero touch to avoid spreading germs. It contains a number of sensors used to take a reading. The main component is a thermal imaging sensor, there are also a distance sensor, ambient temperature and humidity sensors.
How it works…
How it works is, you hold your head roughly 30cm in front of the device, the distance sensor then activates the thermal imaging sensor and a thermal reading is taken. So there is no need for anyone to touch the device in operation at all. This is combined with the ambient temperature & humidity and ran through Kentix’s algorithms to work out a body temperature. It recognises the area around the eyes to do this so it is getting a body temperature rather than a skin surface temperature. In my testing, it is very accurate when compared with a digital mouth thermometer.
If the reading is below a certain pre-set temperature, then the LEDs on the front of the device light up green and a single loud beep sounds, you are OK to go. If the temperature is slightly above this level, some red LEDs will appear along with a prolonged and repeating beeping, if the temperature is above the highest set threshold then the alarm is more insistent. The device comes with sensible default settings for these levels but they are fully adjustable.
Installing the Kentix SmartXcan
To use the scanner stand-alone there’s nothing you need to do other than power it on. It is powered by standard 802.3af 15.4W PoE (Power-over-Ethernet) so can either be connected to a PoE enabled network, or an injector can be used (which we can also supply if needed). When powered on, the thermal sensor needs time to warm up which takes ten to fifteen minutes, the LEDs around the sensor will flash red until it is ready to use, so bear that in mind when testing, you do need to wait for it to warm up.
Going further, the device has a built-in API which you can use to remote control it and it can integrate with other systems using webhooks, either for logging activity (such as anonymous temperature readings, or non-anonymous if using the RFID version with tags for your staff), or integration with access control systems to actually stop people with fevers and high temperatures from going further into your building.
One thing to note is that the device must be used indoors, because it needs to be able to take an accurate temperature reading, direct sunlight and variable temperatures experienced outside will affect it’s performance.
I have scanned myself with it many times and fortunately I appear to have never have had a fever. Amusingly though, my cat jumped on to my desk (since I’m currently working from home still) and looked at the scanner. It took a reading and decided my cat had a slight fever with a temperature of 38.5 degrees. This did worry me slightly but after a web search, I discovered that a cat’s normal body temperature is between 38 and 39 degrees. So it would seem it accurately read my cat’s temperature too!
I don’t think fever/temperature screening is the be-all and end-all of protecting work places and public places from COVID-19 but I do feel that it is an important part of it and this device when coupled with other measures can help us get back to some level of normality.
I know there are concerns with any device that is taking any kind of image of people, however this is fully GDPR compliant in that it is not obtaining any identifying information at all. That is unless you are using the RFID version and intentionally logging temperatures of staff, it is then up to you to handle that data correctly. It’s worth mentioning that the device doesn’t actually store the thermal images, it just displays them temporarily in the web interface. As you can see from above, it is not possible to identify a person from these.
We will have stock in very soon so please get in touch to find out more.