Contactless temperature scanners are becoming a hot item in the world of COVID-19.
The technology, used specifically for spotting people with fevers, are popping up in workplaces and public buildings across Texas, changing the office space as we know it. It's also popping up in major food processing plants, warehouses and even airports across the country.
It's in such high demand, a local company has totally pivoted its business model during the pandemic to meet the need. Their phones are ringing off the hook.
The latest news from around North Texas.
“I don’t see it going away any time soon. It’s just the reality we live in now,” said Zack Mahan, Dallas vice president of documentWORKS. "We needed to figure out how to get Texans back to work in a safe and possible manner."
The Texas-based company -- with offices in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin -- normally focused on IT, software and print services for work spaces before COVID times.
But in the last two months, the company has pivoted it's focus and has been installing contactless scanners in businesses across the state. They’ve even donated models to schools and non-profits in need.
“We know they’re purchasing masks, sanitizer, and many more unforeseen costs of doing business right now,” said Mahan. “If we can make this piece of the puzzle easier, it means they can get back to business and hopefully have a better chance of making it through this pandemic.”
According to Forbes, early reports project the global thermal scanner market to grow by nearly $2 billion in the next four years.
While there are more and more scanners popping up on the market, the demand has caused mayhem, according to Mahan. He said his company helps cut back on the confusion of dealing with foreign manufacturers and allows for businesses to make monthly payments for such a sudden expense.
"It’s scarce and it's complicated," Mahan said of the market. “I know that most companies will Google it and see they're just out of stock, you can’t buy them.”
The scanners can take a reading in less than a second with 98.3 % accuracy. But they do more than just take temperatures.
Some setups won't even let you in the building unless it scans you with your mask on. It can even send data to human resources and be set for facial recognition. Other models being used in parts of the country can connect with smartphones, especially those used for public spaces.
“I think it’s just going to be a ‘check the box’ thing moving forward, where every company is going to want to have that extra layer of protection,” said Mahan.
Of course, doctors say no fever doesn't mean a person is free of coronavirus. This just helps weed out the most obvious cases.
But health experts stress the scanners are just one part of the puzzle. Businesses should still enforce masks and social distancing to prevent an outbreak within the workplace.