Face Recognition, Temperature Kiosks and COVID funding
Article on Wired Nov2020
Wired did an investigation into kiosks (well, temperature tablets…) and has determined schools are purchasing thermal cameras that include facial recognition technology.
Ok. We can live with that…
Technically most all of the schools have been purchasing infrared sensor-based tablets. They are not thermal cameras (e.g. FLIR A400). We think it is safe to say looking at the RFPs and RFIs that the number is easily over 200 schools. Off the top of our heads figure 500 units for a large school district and at figure 40 school districts. We could include Colleges and Universities as well. Maybe we should include FEMA and DHS while we are at it. Reminds me of that old Sinatra tune.
But Munir says he knows little about the “top-of-the-line” facial recognition algorithms at the core of his expansion plans. “That’s almost like a black box for the OneScreen team,” he says. “We rely on the technology we are given.” He directed WIRED to Qualcomm, which makes the device’s processor, to answer additional questions about the facial recognition features and how they were tested for accuracy. Sanjeet Pandit, a Qualcomm vice president, confirms that OneScreen is the only thermal camera provider licensed to use its chips, but says Qualcomm does not provide the facial recognition technology used in the tablets. Munir did not directly answer a follow-up question about who had developed the facial recognition algorithms used in the device.
It’s a worthwhile read and within it there are references to IPVM who has done most of the heavy lifting in this area.
Some of the major distributors have been HP and CDW. The systems have been characterized “hygiene theater” by the CEO of Marriott and also a public hazard by independent testing groups such as IPVM. Given the false negatives they represent a public health situation.
It is good to see major publications beginning to see the developing story that we in the self-service market have been living with for the last 9 months.
But What About Employees?
We do think it is worth examining these technologies in the corporate employee space as well. That would cover both sides of the coin. Recently we saw where 6,000 units deployed at Home Depot. What is the basis and manufacture of those tablets?
What about Six Flags? They went with Dahua who is blacklisted Chinese firm.
Business & Revenue Impacts
Are there any tablets manufactured and designed in the U.S.? I remember some trying on the purpose-built basis but ultimately failing (China was cheaper).
Some of the technologies which have jumped on the temperature tablet for a free ride include AI, facial, and on the hardware-side cameras.
Facial recognition requirements have grown and are a booming business. Video cameras are next up in the queue.