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Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
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7:46 AM 21st July 2020

Leeds-Based Technology Company Helps England Cover-Up

(LtoR) Videcon owner Andy Croston & Videcon Managing Director Matt Rushall.
(LtoR) Videcon owner Andy Croston & Videcon Managing Director Matt Rushall.
Shoppers in England are being told they need to cover up and wear a face covering when shopping from the 24th July, or they could face a fine of up to £100.

But in many ways, the responsibility to enforce this and keep the public safe is once again falling on battle wearied retailers, facilities managers, and operators of public spaces.

Videcon is a British-based developer, designer, and provider of security solutions for businesses across the UK and the company has jumped to repurpose its deep learning, artificially intelligent software solutions in direct response to the Government’s announcement on Monday 13th July.

Thermi-screen, Videcon’s mass body temperature screening camera, can already pinpoint individuals in a shopping queue, or public space, containing up to 40 people, who may have an elevated temperature with ±0.3°C accuracy, but now it can also identify anyone not wearing a face covering. When triggered, the system automatically sends an alert to any designated controller or person in authority.

Videcon’s managing director, Matt Rushall, said: “The message that members of the public must wear face coverings is out there but retailers and managers of public spaces are now finding, as an added burden, that they are being asked by the police and authorities to support them in upholding the law.

“Retailers have a duty to protect their customers and with Police, resources stretched to the limit at the moment, any technology that helps to manage to enforce the law and can make life easier and safer for all, is to be welcomed.”

Videcon is a world leader in its field and the company already uses facial recognition and mask detection software in its Thermi-scan door access control panels but this is the first time deep learning AI technology has been imbedded in crowd control camera systems of this type.

Matt Rushall continued, “Our technology has been used by banks, airports, pharma companies and major retailers around the world and I am very excited at this new development.

“Thermi-Screen is an effective solution to help identify those with potentials symptoms, and our new capability for mask detection will be hugely beneficial to retailers and for the safety of staff and shoppers.”

In addition to the new face coverings and mask detection feature, Videcon enhanced the system’s privacy settings which can now pixelate individuals and replace exact temperature readings with simple normal/elevated temperature messaging. This advanced privacy setting secures compliance with GDPR and ensures the maximum level of individual’s protection of information.

The system comprises of a camera, a network video recorder, and a temperature calibrator. Using two camera lenses simultaneously, the system takes temperature readings from the forehead and upper region of the eye orbit. Algorithms and deep learning technologies then compare readings with other environmental factors like room temperature and direct sunlight. The accuracy of Thermi-Screen eliminates any false readings, such as a person carrying and sipping a hot drink and its fast response time reduces the need for single file detection accelerating the movement of people through a designated screening area or providing screening in public open spaces.

Thermi-Screen is an effective solution to help identify those with potentials symptoms, and the new capability for mask detection will be hugely beneficial to retailers and for the safety of staff and shoppers.