Aussie workplace thermal test unveiled


Elise McDonald
Reporter

Brisbane based technology and services company Bigmate has developed a thermal-imaging solution which can immediately detect elevated temperatures of people entering or leaving their workplaces in real time.

Known as ‘Thermy’, the scalable system can be deployed across locations ranging from factories to territorial borders as well as government and private offices – anywhere people are moving through entrances and walkways.

The system uses thermal cameras and advanced analytics to provide a pre-screening observational solution, which helps identify people who present with a risk of an abnormal temperature. That cohort of people can then have their core body temperature validated, utilising the organisation’s own medical and health and safety procedures.

Bigmate: The thermal safety system developed in Brisbane
Bigmate: The thermal safety system developed in Brisbane

“With Thermy, organisations create a pre-screening detection system to identify people with skin-elevated temperatures, which in turn minimises the risk of impact to workplace environments,” Bigmate managing director Mark Shield said

“This technology can help businesses keep their workplace healthy and productive,” he said. The system was developed entirely in Brisbane . “We are proud … we are able to do our small part at this challenging time.”

Thermy can identify a ‘true skin view’ even when the subject may have a beard, hard hat, or a protective suit which covers the body – or other obstructions that can reduce the ability to take an accurate reading from traditional thermal, camera-based solutions.

Thermy can also operate at scale, by detecting one or many people with elevated temperatures simultaneously and it also utilises “edge” network services so it can still function if a network connection fails.

It also eliminates the problem of ‘flaring’ which occurs when an image is recorded in places of extreme temperature variation, by removing the background object from any analysis, focusing on the person.

Thermy is based on Bigmate’s “Warny” solution, which uses sophisticated computer vision algorithms developed over a number of years to protect people working around dangerous machines, such as forklifts, trucks or industrial cutting machines.

Warny’s innovations include its ability to create distance measurement from one camera, through Bigmate software.

This allows for the extremely accurate measurement of individual skin temperature, social distancing, and people counting and it extends Warny’s capabilities by using thermal cameras, providing real time information through dashboards for remote viewing and trend analysis.

If someone with an elevated temperature profile is identified, an alert will be sent via multiple media, aligned to the company’s workplace health and privacy policies.

“Thermy is not intended to be a medical apparatus. It is observational technology but it is designed to play a critical role in helping organisations speed up their ability to protect workers and their families in the fight against highly contagious virus outbreaks such as COVID19, the everyday day flu and beyond,” Mr Shield said.

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