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EyeLock adds mask detection component

EyeLock adds mask detection component

EyeLock adds mask detection component

NEW YORK—As the war against COVID-19 rages on, businesses now have an additional means of detection available to them in order to create a safer working environment.

EyeLock, a provider of iris-based identity authentication solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT), recently announced that its nano iXT iris recognition devices now have the ability to detect the presence of a mask and conditionally deny access when one is not being worn. The mask detection feature is enabled when the device’s iTemp temperature screening module is connected. 

Chris Jahnke, vice president of sales and marketing for EyeLock, explained to Security Systems News that the nano iXT is a “product that has far reaches when it comes to the situations happening right now with COVID-19. The two features that we have right now are the ability to take somebody’s temperature and/or detect the presence of a facemask. Those things are big issues now, as you can imagine.”  

Jahnke noted that the iXT’s temperature screening module looks at the overall thermal image of a person’s face and displays that person’s temperature on the screen. Because the temperature of the portion of the face covered by the mask is less because it is covered up, the idea of adding the mask detection component came about.

“When you cover up part of your face with a facemask, we can detect the fact that there is something blocking that section of your face, and that could possibly be a mask,” he said. “We can save that image of the person with their mask on in the database, so we know when there’s a mask on and when there’s a mask not on. We can alert the user of the device that they should be wearing a mask. They could deny them access into the building when the mask is not being worn. As a result, you can control access based on their temperature and/or whether they’re wearing a mask or not.”

EyeLock CEO Jeff Carter added, “When used in conjunction with the optional iTemp module, the nano iXT equips companies with a reliable and highly accurate tool that helps create the safest possible working environment for their employees, customers and all visiting parties. Detecting the presence of an individual’s mask combined with their temperature can now be done quickly and with confidence on the same device.”

Working together

Jahnke explained how the iTemp module works in conjunction with the mask detection component to provide businesses with a safe and secure working environment.

“The thermal sensor looks at the entire face and it looks at the temperature across the entire face,” he explained. “It looks at your chin, it looks at your forehead, it looks on either side of your face. When you cover up the lower part of your face, the temperature behind the mask is lower because it’s not looking at the surface of the skin behind the mask. The algorithm has the capability of looking in that area and determining if a mask is not being worn, or that a mask is being worn. We’re basically determining that a mask is covering up that portion of the face, and we’re doing that with a thermal camera.”

Jahnke added that the device’s authentication speed, with a database of up to 20,000 people, is about 1 ½ to two seconds. “We’re authenticating who they are, based upon their iris, and at the exact same time and within the same timeframe, we’re taking their temperature, if that’s enabled, and we’re determining if they have a mask on,” he explained.

The nano iXT features a large LCD touchscreen, and employees can see themselves just like they’re taking a selfie, Jahnke pointed out.

“People know what to do,” he noted. “They walk up to the device, the device creates a green bar around their eyes, takes a picture, and it’s done. You don’t have to fumble around not knowing where to stand or where you’re going to put your face. It’s very easy to use.”

If an employee’s temperature is too high and/or that person is not wearing a mask, EyeLock sends out an email or a text message to the employer, letting them know that the employee is not being allowed in. At the same time, the employee is alerted on the iXT’s screen that their temperature is too high, or that they’re not wearing a mask.

Jahnke added that with COVID-19, you could have the coronavirus and not have a temperature. “Temperature’s really the secondary feature,” he said. “Mask detection is way more important. If they don’t have their mask on, and it’s required, we tell them to please put your mask on, and it says that right on the screen.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has set the temperature threshold at 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, but Jahnke pointed out that EyeLock lets end users determine their own temperature threshold.

Early feedback

Having introduced mask detection for the nano iXT in November 2020, Jahnke noted that people are just beginning to realize the capability of the new feature, adding that “the demand is high.”

Jahnke is optimistic that the nano iXT with temperature and mask detection will enhance access control for businesses as they cope with the pandemic.

“I think there’s a perception that the new presidential administration will probably mandate mask wearing nationally, and what businesses are going to say is, ‘How do I know that my employees are wearing masks? How are we going to manage it?’” Jahnke explained. “We’ve got a product that does that.”



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