Temperature Scanning Low Cost Options — K3 Wall Mounted IR Temperature Gun

We saw this deployment at Dartmouth of the K3 Wall Mounted IR Temperature Gun out on IPVM

Dartmouth told IPVM they picked the K3 because they were contact-free, available in the quantity they required, quick to ship, and accurate. They are using the devices as personal temperature stations for daily check-ins as opposed to fever screening for entry to buildings, in line with CDC guidelines. The daily check-ins are also only part of their coronavirus safety plan that involves testing, social distancing, masks, travel restrictions, infrastructure changes, contact tracing, and quarantining.

Cost per device is less than $100. We can see them on Amazon for $79 and less.

IPVM Finds K3s Fairly Accurate and Cost-Effective

IPVM has found K3s to be fairly accurate and easy to use despite being one of the cheapest options at ~$100. In our tests of K3s, they performed comparably to handheld IR guns in temperature-controlled areas and were more accurate than most of the alternatives we tested. K3s work well in a temperature-controlled environment but suffer from poor accuracy in heated or humid rooms. In addition, false-positives can be triggered by people measuring their temperature after sweating or being outside in the sun because they measure the forehead. K3s are easy to use and convenient because they are contact-free and can be used without a second person.

K3s Used for Self Screening as Public Thermometers

Dartmouth is using the K3s as thermometer stations for people without personal thermometers so they can complete daily Coronavirus symptom checks. Dartmouth requires students and staff to complete daily electronic coronavirus symptom checks that include temperature. If people don’t have access to thermometers, they are told to use one of the K3s distributed across campus. Dartmouth told IPVM the 32 K3s were placed in areas that had high foot traffic or density:

Placement was based on foot traffic patterns and population density of the buildings/areas.

This is notably different from many places that use temperature screening for entry to buildings and Dartmouth’s strategy matches CDC guidelines:

Screening and health checks are not a replacement for other protective measures such as social distancing.

Consider encouraging individuals planning to enter the workplace to self-screen prior to coming onsite

From Test Report of K3

See full report

Summary

In our testing, the wall-mounted IR temperature gun was relatively accurate in climate-controlled conditions, such as lobbies and offices, with measurements consistently ~0.2-0.5° lower than body temperature measured using tympanic and oral thermometers.

However, in areas with higher temperatures and relative humidity, temperature measurements were significantly lower than actual body temperature, as much as 1.5°F. Additionally, there is no way to compensate for these low measurements, as the unit does not include adjustable body temperature offsets or alarm thresholds typical on most handheld thermometers and thermal camera screening systems.

Finally, mounting height significantly impacts usability due to the thermometers small spot size and short range (5-10cm / ~2-4″), with tall users needing to bend for measurement, while shorter users may require a box/step to stand on. However, for the price, users could simply install a second detector for varying heights.