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Audiovisual industry poised to help offices, retail open during COVID-19

AV Pros leverage display, digital signage, and panel technology

By Hermann Cheung, Chief Product Officer, Glory Star Group

As industries and businesses reopen, those operating and working in healthcare field are seeking solutions that will help them continue to offer annual exams and routine medical services during the pandemic. In order to limit the exposure to COVID-19, they have instituted additional protocols. These measures include frequently sanitizing waiting and exam rooms, donning face masks, maintaining social distancing recommendations wherever possible, limiting the number of occupants, and setting up numerous hand sanitizer stations throughout facilities. To further strengthen their lines of defense, health facilities are also screening each visitor’s temperature before allowing entry.

Taking a person’s temperature is an age-old tool for assessing health. Invented in 1867 by Sir Thomas Allbut, the first medical thermometer took 5 minutes for an accurate reading. Today, people are accustomed to digital ear and temporal scanners with a 30-second to 2-minute readout. Although this isn’t a significant amount of time during a doctor’s appointment, it’s considerable when being scanned to enter a building. Minutes can add up, resulting in lengthy queues that can increase infection risks.

AV Professionals Expertise

In addition to slowing down building access, most of these thermometers touch the skin and be operated by personnel, which make them poor solutions for public temperature screenings in the era of social distancing. In response, the market has opened up with contact-less gun-style temperature readers as well as ones that scan wrists. However, these products create their own problems. First, the operator must be in close range or a person must come in close contact with a surface; second, gun-style readers  instinctively drive up anxiety because there is a “gun” being held up to the forehead, creating a poor experience in an already stressful time. Visitors to buildings using wrist readers must be trained how to hold up their wrists, often inadvertently touching the reader.

For the AV industry, solving problems isn’t just about choosing any solution to the get the job done. Integrators have long been experts at selecting and installing technology that also creates a positive experience for users. Furthermore, no one understands the limited resource of time and how it impacts the user experience like pro AV manufacturers and integrators.

Through continuous advancement of audio, video, and control technology, pro AV manufacturers have made even the most mundane daily tasks effortless and efficient. In the past decade, IoT-based equipment and algorithms, such as control tablets with built-in motion and temperature sensors, have been developed. These solutions automatically sense the environment, then intelligently and accurately respond to affect change that achieves an expected user experience and outcome.

Audiovisual Display Technology

Similar technology can be now be used to assist healthcare facilities to safely reopen. In this case, a commercial tablet, such as Glory Star’s TAURI Temperature Check tablet, equipped with high-quality temperature sensors and integrated with facial detection software becomes a sophisticated and accurate temperature check station. It recognizes when someone is standing in front of it from up to 3 feet away, zeros in on the person, and scans their temperature. It only takes a matter of seconds without the need for staff to operate it.

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Based on the reading, the tablet can provide visitors with the appropriate message, such as, “Please proceed to the check-in desk.” Or for those with an above-normal reading, it might read, “Please wait here for assistance,” so that person can be handled with care and according to the office temperature policy.

Unlike a temperature gun or wrist reader, a table feels familiar and people know what to do around them, be it an Apple iPad, Amazon Kindle, or a checkout kiosk. According to Pew Research, roughly half of all adults in the U.S. own tablets.

In addition to making temperature checks as seamless, accurate, and natural as possible, another concern is maintaining privacy and protecting personal medical information. A commercial-grade tablet equipped with an HDMI output can send results to a secondary screen, such as one located at a nurse’s station, ensuring results are kept confidential.

A commercial-grade tablet also opens up other opportunities and achieves greater ROI than a single-use temperature gun or wrist reader. For example, TAURI also integrates with access control systems, adding another layer of protection. With options to upload messages or digital signage images, a facility can also push out information on insurance, events, or advertisements. Even long after temperature checks are no longer required, a facility can continue to leverage it for other needs.

While COVID-19 has forever changed the dynamic of the world, the pro AV industry has already begun to step up and do what it’s always done: make experiences easier.

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