HomeInterviewThai innovation “μTherm FaceSense” gets ready for commercialization

Thai innovation “μTherm FaceSense” gets ready for commercialization

In just 0.1 second, μTherm FaceSense is able to measure the temperature and detect the face of many persons all at the same time.

Developed by the National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC), this innovation therefore has solid commercial potential especially now that COVID-19 outbreak requires almost all major organizations in Thailand to deploy temperature scanners and keep records of people going into and out of their compounds.

“We are now ready for the commercialization of μTherm FaceSens,” NECTEC’s acting deputy executive director Dr. Saran Samritdetkajorn told The Story Thailand.

“μTherm FaceSense” has a maximum screening range of 1.5 meters. In just a wink, the measured temperature will be overlaid over a person’s face on the screen. If the temperature exceeds the pre-specified threshold, its color will change from green to red with a warning sound. This innovation, moreover, is highly portable, almost the size of a computer notebook. It weighs just about one kilogram.

“Our innovation is no less efficient than imported devices. I also have to add that some of our features are better,” Saran said.

He then disclosed that his agency had already been in the process of discussing technology transfer with interested private firms.

“The price per unit will be Bt100,000 something. We believe private firms that acquire this technology will be able to market the device,” he said.

The fruit of 13-year R&D

According to Saran, the origin of μTherm FaceSense traced back to 2007 when many agencies started to recognize the importance of a device that could efficiently and quickly check the temperature of persons as fever was a symptom of several dangerous communicable diseases.

“At that time, the world had already seen the emergence of bird flu and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS),” he said.

He added that NECTEC embarked on a project to develop thermal scanners for the Disease Control Department to use at the Suvarnabhumi Airport, after being asked in 2007 as to whether it could produce such a device.

Research and development had been going on for years ever since. But breakthrough came when NECTEC researchers noticed the arrival of a great thermal imaging technology in 2016 and then an interesting facial recognition technology in 2018.

“With these components, we have successfully created μTherm FaceSense,” Saran added.
Faster Work Speed in Wake of COVID-19

Saran revealed that NECTEC rushed to finish the production of 40 first μTherm FaceSense by May, instead of the initial deadline of July, because of COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are now testing the devices. After the test is completed, we will distribute 35 of them for use in various parts of the country. Two others will be kept at NECTEC while three others will be used to develop this innovation further,” he continued.

He disclosed that NECTEC planned to integrate 3D face recognition technology into the device so that μTherm FaceSense acquired even greater accuracy in identifying the persons it captured on its screen.

μTherm FaceSense for agricultural use

Saran hinted that μTherm FaceSense could also prove useful to Thailand’s agricultural sector. Presently, NECTEC has been developing thermal and infrared features that will enable this innovation to check the health of plants.

“We are experimenting with these features,” he said, adding that they should be ready for field testing before the end of 2020.



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