Sunday, January 29, 2023

Demand for thermal devices skyrockets in coronavirus times

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Global manufacturers of various kinds of devices that read body temperatures from near or far are experiencing a boom in business due to the coronavirus pandemic. Conway G. Gittens has more.

From the option of pointing and clicking…

to the ones embedded and mounted into cameras…

to full-body readers similar to x-ray machines…

body-temperature scanners are all the rage.

Manufacturers around the world like Flir Systems can’t make them fast enough to keep up with surging demand.

Chris Bainter is director of Flir’s global business development.

“We’re seeing exponential demand, really, from every industry and globally. In Q1, we had bookings of over $100 million, and they were mainly tied to our handheld, battery-powered solutions because of their ability to be rapidly deployed. Now, what we’re seeing with customers, is gravitating towards our more automated, fixed mount solutions that can be more readily integrated into existing access, control, and security protocols.”

The global thermal imaging market is estimated to grow to $4.6 billion by 2025 from $3.4 billion this year, according to research firm Markets and Markets.

International airports were the early adopters, preferring camera-mounted scanners that wouldn’t add much time to security checks passengers were already accustomed too.

But then companies looking to remain open and protect workers jumped on the bandwagon, sending orders skyrocketing.

Thermoteknix Systems Operations Director Max Salisbury says he’s gone from selling just 10 systems a month to over 100 systems a day.

“Initially, there was a big a big peak and some of our large corporate customers, such as Tyson Foods, who use our system, placed a large number of orders right at the beginning of this outbreak. We then had from there an absolute take off in orders. And now with this, it’s not really a second wave. It’s just a continuing wave of coronavirus in the U.S., we are… we can’t build them fast enough to meet demand. So, it’s it’s very, very busy.”

Scanning temperatures quickly to get the most people through the door – whether that’s the corporate lobby, at the airport, or even in malls and movie theaters is what led Thermalpass to come up with this full-body fever detection system, according to Michael Lende, president and CEO of Thermalpass’s parent company Internet of Things.

“It was innovation inspired out of necessity to get this crippled economy back to normal, to get people out of their houses, to get people in malls, to get people back in the office space in a post-COVID world. And it’s looking for 96.8 degrees Fahrenheit. So, its accuracy is tremendous in that there are 20 readings happening per second and they’re touch-less.”

But none of the body-temperature-taking devices on the market come cheap. Systems that include the cameras, displays and other needed hardware cost between $5,000 to $10,000 a pop.

But with all areas of business looking to reassure workers and customers that it’s safe to come outside, many CEOs are finding that’s a small price to pay to keep the global economy going.

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