Hamilton start-up develops tool that can be crucial in battle against COVID-19

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Published April 22, 2020 at 4:27 pm

A group of McMaster Engineering alumni and students have developed early-detection technology that could help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

A group of McMaster Engineering alumni and students have developed early-detection technology that could help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The group, who in 2018 formed a start-up firm called Longan Vision, is teaming up with Nations Fresh Foods in Jackson Square to put their recently developed tool to the test.

The device, called Gatekeeper, uses thermal imaging technology and augmented reality (AR) software to scan groups of people for elevated temperatures.

The tool employs a stationary AR camera that “can detect human temperature in a large group” in a non-invasive way, Longan founder and CEO Enzo Jia explains in a YouTube video about the innovation.

For their pilot test of the technology, a workstation will be set up outside of Nations in the coming weeks and customers will be screened using the Gatekeeper, a news release on Mac’s website explains.

“Customers will be advised when to step in front of the camera to be scanned, which takes seconds,’ the release says.

“Nations staff monitoring the workstation will be alerted if a person has an elevated temperature or not.”

The Longan group were initially formed to develop a viser that would help enhance firefighters’ vision in a fire, allowing them to see victims more clearly and transmit images back to their command centre.

With the spread of COVID-19, the team retooled their operation to create the Gatekeeper to help in the battle against the virus.

“We want to give back to our community, and we feel utilizing our engineering strengths to provide a tool is a great way to do so,” said Jia in the release.

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