The Covid-19 pandemic has heightened expectations and redefined standards for health and safety around the world. Mask wearing, temperature checks, symptom declarations, and contactless interactions have become the norm the moment we leave the comfort of our home.
Innovative companies have led the charge on many fronts to address the challenges posed by this global crisis. Facial recognition technology is a good example. It is an innovative solution for health and safety monitoring that can accurately screen individuals before entering a facility, even when masks obscure their faces or they are not looking straight into a camera. The convenience and effectiveness of facial recognition to address health and safety monitoring needs have been key drivers of the technology’s rapid adoption since the pandemic’s beginning.
In this article, you will learn how to implement facial recognition technology for all of your health and safety protocol needs.
What Does Facial Recognition Technology Look Like?
This cost-effective and non-intrusive screening technology automates the typically cumbersome process of performing an effective health check upon arrival at a location. Kiosks or checkpoints equipped with facial recognition and cameras can automatically detect if someone is wearing a mask and wearing it properly, covering the entire nose and mouth. The addition of a thermal camera enables precise body temperature measurement and sends an alert when someone entering shows signs of a possible fever. Unless there is an alert, there is no need for human intervention and no bottleneck as the entire process takes less than a second.
When determining if a health and safety solution using facial recognition is right for your business, there are several factors to consider.
What Factors Do You Need to Consider for Successful Implementation?
First, determine the purpose of the facial recognition system. Is it needed for the sole purpose of performing health checks, including mask detection and temperature screening, or will it also be used to control the access of employees and visitors when they walk in?
It might be sufficient only to add checkpoints to verify mask-wearing and body temperatures in public areas and rely on existing access cards and visitor registration kiosks. However, a good facial recognition solution can also validate identity in less than a second and relay the information to different systems depending on the group with which someone is associated. For example, an employee’s attendance record would be automatically updated or security would receive an alert if a block-listed person was identified. It can eliminate the need for a number of error-prone legacy systems with one contactless, instantaneous, and highly accurate face capture.
To illustrate, a bank’s health and security protocols will vary greatly from a food service establishment’s. A bank will need stringent security protocols in addition to health checks. Therefore, besides checking mask wearing and body temperatures, bank security will want to confirm the identity of each person trying to enter any of the restricted areas typical in this type of establishment. However, proper and effective health protocol to access its kitchens will be far more important for restaurants than verifying each person’s identity.
Learn more about the top 7 success factors to consider when choosing the best facial recognition solution for your requirements.
Facial Recognition for Health & Safety
We will use a fictitious restaurant to illustrate the implementation of facial recognition for health and safety through three processes:
When employees enter the facility, a hybrid RGB/thermal camera detects whether masks are properly worn over the mouth and nose and measures body temperature, instantly flagging non-compliant employees before they can even start their shifts.
Read our case study on how ACE Biotek adopted facial recognition for access control and health screenings.
Facial recognition can also analyze the video feed of cameras located throughout the facilities to ensure all shifts are running smoothly and safely. Among the many checks that can be performed is mask detection, to ensure employees wear their mouth covers at all times. It can identify employees overdue for a break to avoid the risks and dangers associated with fatigue. It can also send an alert if an employee is spending an abnormal amount of time in an area such as a freezer room.
Access to Secure Areas
Only authorized people must access restricted areas such as control and server rooms, management offices, and storage rooms. Instead of keys or digital codes, which can easily be shared or stolen, the use of a reliable facial recognition solution, with an accuracy rate of up to 99.7%, provides secure, frictionless authentication and access control.
Hardware and Infrastructure Requirements
Now that you’ve determined the features you need, you must ensure you have the proper hardware and infrastructure.
Making decisions like the following will help you determine the hardware and infrastructure needs:
- Will this be developed for Windows or Linux servers?
- Will all content be processed by an on-site server, or will a workstation at each location process the content and then send results to the central server?
- Is there a need for mobile support, be it mobile checkpoints or controls located at the edge of a large complex? If so, will you need support for Android, iOS, or both?
Offered both as a flexible software development kit (SDK) or an out-of-the-box software solution, facial recognition technology, such as FaceMe, can be efficiently deployed across any IT infrastructure, including:
- Operating systems – supports all major operating systems, including Windows and Linux, and provides mobile support for Android and iOS
- Device types – mobile devices, personal or industrial PCs, workstations, and servers
- Camera types – webcams, IP cameras, thermal cameras; with 2D or 3D capabilities
- Chipsets – multiple options give integrators the freedom to optimize the solution based on important factors such as cost, power, energy consumption, form factor, and lifespan
After answering questions relative to the various aspects of the project, you have all you need to assemble the blueprint, evaluate the costs, and implement the solution.
Dive deeper into how to use facial recognition technology to build your solution.
Facial Recognition with in a Post-Pandemic Workplace
While vaccination rates continue to rise, it’s clear we are far from being past the pandemic. Masks must still be worn almost anywhere we go, and there is no end in sight to the mutations into new variants. Investments in new and innovative technologies like facial recognition can help everyone stay safe and healthy, not only today but well into the future, as we navigate the new normal.