Sonitol Great Lakes installing device to detect potentially sick people

Published: May. 28, 2020 at 6:16 PM EDT
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(5/28/2020) - For Sonitrol Great Lakes, the security business no longer just means cameras. In the age of the coronavirus pandemic, it's protecting employees in a whole new way by catching someone who may be infected with the virus or any other illness before they enter the building.

“I think it is the wave of the future; because everybody wants to reopen,” Mike Buckel, VP of Sales and Marketing explained. “If putting this in allows you to reopen, why wouldn't you do it?

He’s talking about a new device they’re helping customers install at the office. It is a hybrid thermal camera and what's called a Blackbody, a device that reads the temperature the camera shows.

“The device is placed in like a hallway or an entryway,” he said. “So if you have one entrance into your building and everybody has to walk through in the morning, you can screen 20 people a second.”

Buckel said Sonitrol got the device from the Asian company Dahua. They shared several demonstrations, showing the device is able to isolate a person's head and show their temperature right above it.

It will work even if a person is wearing a mask, a hat or even a helmet.

“It doesn't hit for things like a hot cup of coffee and stuff like that,” Buckel said. “So, it's an assessment tool to say hey that person might have a fever, you need to go check them.”

Buckel said he’s already worked with a Michigan auto supplier to install the device, which has proven helpful with the large number of people they employ and multiple shift changes.

And, he's reaching out to police agencies and even Michigan school districts.

“It's not something that's gonna be a short term problem. If this all gets fixed in a year, you can still keep it up because there's always gonna be something where people are worried about people coming to work sick,” he said.

What about privacy? Buckel pointed out employers will likely want their employees and customers to know the device is there because it's an added layer of safety.

Plus, he said the camera does not need to be hooked up to the internet, so it cannot be hacked.