This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)
Contxto – Here’s something ironic for you: on February 27, the Chinese government donated to its Bolivian counterpart some costly software and hardware armed with thermosensors. The technology would be installed in key airports to carry out complete body scans of any passersby.
The ultimate goal is to detect if a person has an unusual temperature. In other words, determine if they have a fever; a key symptom of that pesky coronavirus (COV-19) that’s been going around.
Meanwhile, a pair of Bolivian entrepreneurs and a Venezuelan one are developing the technology for themselves. Their startup, View-Factor, is working on “Astrom Thermosense.” This fancy-named product uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology to take a person’s body temperature at a distance.
A greatly needed solution in areas where huge crowds gather, and temperature-taking one person at a time is inefficient.
As of February, the product itself was reportedly still being developed and its creators stated it will cost around US$30,000.
View-Factor helps “see” your temperature
This type of thermo-sensory technology has already been deployed in other parts of the globe to detect COVID-19. However, Latin American entrepreneurs Alejandro Galindo and Rodrigo Dávila from Bolivia, alongside Venezuelan Alberto Quintero are also developing it.
The system they’ve created detects temperatures using artificial intelligence armed with computer vision to “see” people and take their temperature in a non-invasive way.
This is possible through the installation of two cameras. One is prepped to identify faces. The other is a thermographic one. The former detects when a face comes into frame, while the second then takes the “face’s” temperature.
And reportedly it all happens in less than one second.
Healthcare authorities are still scrambling to control the spread of the disease, and we all continue to stare uncomfortably at the person who’s coughed one too many times and isn’t wearing a mask.
Nevertheless, it’s my hope that next time something like this happens (because it will happen again) we have the technology to get a better grip on it.
That, and people show more common sense in abstaining from travel if they’ve shown symptoms.
Technology can’t fix human folly ya know.
Related articles: Tech and startups from Bolivia!