'Smart helmets' deployed at airports to check temperatures

Published: May. 14, 2020 at 12:59 PM EDT
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While countries work to contain COVID-19, many have invested in new gadgets to slow the spread of the virus. As travel bans continue to lift, some technology is a head above the rest.

They look straight out of a sci-fi movie -- "Robo-Cop" style helmets designed to take temperatures. At Rome's Leonardo da Vinci Airport, police use them to scan incoming passengers.

"The pictures are then transmitted to a visor inside the augmented reality helmet that projects what the operator sees on his visor. It is able to detect the temperature of the single person but also of groups," said Massimiliano Moretto, a senior engineer behind the project.

The helmets can read temperatures from more than 20-feet away, an important tool to maintain social distancing. The international airport is ramping up safety measures as it slowly reopens to visitors.

Similar technology is also being used by police in Dubai. Officers are deploying the Chinese-made headgear throughout the crowded city. It can scan up to 200 people a minute. More advanced than other 'smart helmets,' this gear has six different scanning options.

"So it has the temperature reading mode, it has facial recognition capabilities, plate number recognition, QR code reader, and ultimately this all connects together to give you the history of a person," said Namir Houran, managing director of global manufacturing and industrialization summit.

As it works to keep cities healthy, the safety feature isn't immune to criticism. Civil liberties groups say the technology acts as big brother and an invasion of privacy.

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