Date: 24/05/2021
Author: Joanne Lancaster
Company: The Nycomm Group

Following a successful pilot scheme a thermal imaging camera is to become a permanent fixture at the Bury’s newly re-opened arts centre, The Met.

Installed by locally headquartered technology solutions specialist Avoira, the high-tec camera was trialled last year as part of a wider test of the venue’s Covid safety protocols.

With The Met having re-opened to live audiences last Saturday (May 22nd), it has confirmed the artificial intelligence powered camera will remain on the bill. Theatregoers who enjoyed its On A Happy Note variety performance were the first to be screened by the now permanently fixed camera.

“The pilot scheme demonstrated to us the value of thermal imaging within our wider safety practices,” commented artistic director, David Agnew.

“It’s exceptionally fast, non-intrusive and provides further reassurance to both staff and visitors of the venue’s safety.”

He added that detection of a raised body temperature would not necessarily mean a visitor would be denied entry.

“The camera is not a diagnostic tool. It just tells us, with great accuracy, whether someone is carrying a temperature above the norm. Our staff can then discreetly determine if there may be a reason for this. A visitor may, for example, have run to catch a performance.”

Within a second the camera can automatically identify anyone carrying a raised body temperature.

A monitor mounted on the reception desk then alerts staff who can then take appropriate action.

The camera installed by Avoira is among a range that exclusively meets the international standards set for the use of screening thermographs when temperature screening for fever symptoms. This means it operates as standard to within +/- 0.5 degrees Celsius.

It captures temperature from a specific area of the forehead to prevent false positive readings through detection of other heat sources, such as hot drinks. This means that it can screen visitors who are wearing face masks.

The same technology has also been successfully deployed by Avoira at other leisure, education, finance, healthcare and retail sites across the UK.

These include Manchester’s Albert’s Schloss beer house, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber Space and the University of Bolton.