What to Look For in Temperature Scanning Sensors
There are a lot of temperature scanning solutions out there, and many look alike. Don’t be fooled. Just like any digital display, it’s important to ensure that the selection you invest in is reliable, and what’s running behind the curtain is critical.
For integrators, there are two buyers: (1) those that buy off the shelf and ‘get a new one’ if it breaks, and (2) those that need something Enterprise-ready that also ticks the boxes on features they may or may not know about.
Your best customer is the one that is committed to a quality solution, as anything you sign up to sell will eventually mean your neck’s on the line to support it, too. To make it easier to compare the myriad of options out there for your customers’ needs, here are the basic buckets of features and abilities to screen them against.
Many of the temp sensors out there are produced in Asia, and the manufacturer matters. Ensure the people behind production are reputable, have history and can be counted on for support (and accountability) if any issues come up.
Remember, the form factors you’re reviewing are new devices and we’ve gone from limited supply to abundant knockoffs in a handful of months. You will get what you pay for and, as with all emerging tech, there will be surprises. A reputable company will stand by you as any unforeseen kinks get ironed out.
If there’s one thing to count on right now, it’s change. We have seen workflows, policies, data and customization requirements revised as often as weekly. It’s imperative that you choose a nimble solution that can support frequent changes.
It’s highly likely that your temperature screening sensor will need to integrate/configure with other adjacent technologies or access needs (think: building entry automation). Many workflows will also require you to customize the type of indicator alert (light, sound, message) or offer a private mode (mobile QR code or unique ID tied to a discreet result and storage). Not all sensors can support these needs, so select your options wisely.
Ease for the User
It’s important that interacting with the solution is as friction-free as possible. People don’t want life disrupted more than necessary, and no one wants a TSA experience just to enter a building. Some sensors have the ability to weave into workflows, or a mobile app that saves time and steps while also ensuring an optimal customer experience. Consider the desired workflow for managing the visitor or employee first, then make sure the sensor can make it happen.
Ease for the Owner
Tied to the above, if you have a business with multiple locations, Enterprise setup, management, monitoring, troubleshooting, updates and support-ability from one central dashboard is critical—ideally on the edge. Ask probing questions around this capability and demand proof that the functionality offered is real and field ready versus on a roadmap. There’s a lot of vaporware out there and, good intentions aside, your customers’ needs can’t wait.
Data and Privacy by Design
Privacy is always a key concern, and for good reason. When it comes to comparing temp sensors, the most important point is that your choice must support any policy as dictated by local, regional and national mandates. You should be able to collect and analyze results in a secure cloud, dictate how long the data is stored and easily control access and sharing for both users and compliance needs. In relation to facial recognition, be aware of the companies that are on the blacklist— we dig into this topic in more depth here. A bonus attribute to look for is the ability to tie data to AI to trigger actions or alerts.
No matter which direction the COVID situation goes, think about how your temp sensor could be used or repurposed if the COVID concern dissipates. Can it become a digital sign? Control occupancy needs? Help with training or CRM? Track analytics? Good solutions are gateways for adjacent use cases, and having potential extensions for the investment can be a strong selling point.
A good temperature sensor is an investment, but also an asset. Informed by these guiding principles, we hope you find the perfect solution for your customers’ needs.
InReality’s Learning Center is committed to sharing important guidance to help the industry navigate the complexities of the ever-evolving Safe Space landscape. The information shared is informed by experience working with many constituents and stakeholders. If you have a topic you would like addressed, please submit it to Laura Davis-Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.