Researchers have invented a low-cost continuous fever screening system – SIFTER – based on an RGB-thermal camera. The system can automatically take temperature readings of people walking by, going about their own business, up to three meters away – no one has to stand in front of a camera for a few seconds to take a measurement. And no one needs to be there to read the measurement and approve the person’s entry.
SIFTER has three components: a sensor node, a cloud server, and a web-based user interface. It uses smaller numbers of low-cost sensors, can run continuously in different environmental conditions, and can screen multiple people simultaneously without requiring active participation from screeners.
The system detects and tracks heads in the RGB and thermal domains, constructs thermal heat map models for each tracked person, and classifies people as having or not having fever. It can take key temperature features of heads in-situ at a distance of up to three meters and produce fever screening predictions in real-time, significantly improving screening through-put while minimizing disruption to normal activities.
The team tested SIFTER in the real world. It screened more than 4,000 people, with a measurement error within 0.4◦F at two meters and around 0.6◦F at 3.5 meters.