When COVID-19 appeared earlier this year, the first wide-spread testing to detect if a person had the disease involved temperature. In contrast to other invasive approaches, the need for improved temperature testing prompted a few companies to investigate and then develop their own approach.
Dermal Photonics Corp. solution was a wearable smart thermometer called NIRA Temp. Worn like a bandage, the device can be used around the clock, even during sleep, to quickly detect potential infections if a sudden spike in body temperature occurs. The real-time temperature status and alerts are communicated through smartphone integration and Bluetooth connectivity.With its goal to reduce the spread of disease through early fever detection and 24/7monitoring, the NIRA Temp sensor has a one-year battery life. The initial intent was for public school monitoring but factory and office building usage was also anticipated.
Another approach, a wirelessly-powered radio frequency identification (RFID) temperature scanning system was co-developed and recently announced by Powercast Corporation and Microchip Technology. Powercast provides the over the air wireless power technology through a Powerharvester receiver chip and Microchip provides the 16-bit, extremely low-power PIC24F04KA201 microcontroller (MCU) and the temperature sensor.
The intent is to enable businesses to easily and safely monitor employees’ temperatures as businesses work to re-open and get back to normal or almost normal operation.
In addition to a wireless-powered temperature scanning fob personalized for each employee, similar to the size of a car key fob, the system also includes an RFID reader and a TV monitor. Using Powercast’s wireless technology, the fob quickly charges when held near an RFID reader at the entrance to the business so battery charging and replacement are not required.