Pewaukee-based Central Office Systems is known by many of its customers as a provider of printing and copying machines. But since its 2018 acquisition of Attivo Technologies, the company has evolved into more of an IT company.
Central Office Systems recently partnered with New Berlin-based Exciting Events Inc. to create a new IT product, a pyrexia scanner kiosk that can scan people’s faces, with the ability to quickly identify them and determine their temperature.
As businesses develop protocols to safely bring employees into the workplace while the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic continues, Central Office Systems principal Art Flater said he wanted to have temperature scanning devices in stock to offer its customers.
The company looked for hand-held temperature scanners that users point and “shoot” at subjects to determine their temperature. But their accuracy was poor.
“We shot it at the employees and we would get a different reading every time and it would be off like a degree and a half, two degrees at a time,” said Todd Scheel, president and CEO of Exciting Events.
One to two degrees can be the difference between an employee being determined to be healthy enough to work or being considered sick and having to go home.
Eventually Central Office Systems found a German technology that could do facial recognition scans and determine temperature within 0.3 degrees, in just seconds.
“So, at that point we said, ‘Let’s say we got one, what would we even do with it?’ It’s no good unless the person is standing in the right spot, and they understand the instructions,” Flater said. “We need a whole kiosk.”
Central Office Systems tapped into its long-established relationship with Exciting Events, which created the kiosk for the pyrexia scanner.
Exciting Events makes the kiosk stand, its graphics and assembles the electronic components for the system. Central Office Systems provides IT support.
The scans can also be used in lieu of an ID badge to enter a facility and the system could be set up to require healthy temperature scans to gain entry. The system costs $5,000 with installation.