NEC Avio Infrared Technologies Co Ltd released a non-contact skin temperature measurement device integrated with a desktop mirror.
The device, "Thermo Mirror SX-01," was developed to find people who have a fever due to, for example, flu virus at the reception areas of companies and other organizations. NEC Avio had a press conference to explain about the product Jan 11, 2011, in Tokyo.
NEC Avio is a major infrared thermography manufacturer. When SARS emerged in 2003 and when a new type of flu appeared in 2009, 100 or more machines developed by the company were installed at airports and seaports to find infected people.
The company received requests from many people who actually saw or experienced the machine. They wanted to install such a machine at their companies so that visitors to the companies can be checked at reception areas in the aim of preventing flu patients, etc from entering their offices.
Thur far, it has been difficult for such companies to introduce infrared thermography devices because of their high prices. For example, the price of NEC Avio's infrared thermography devices ranges from ¥500,000 (approx US$6,029) to several million yens.
This time, NEC Avio developed a product priced at less than ¥100,000 (the low-priced model of the Thermo Mirror (SX-01A)) by reducing the number of functions. For example, infrared thermography devices can display the temperature distribution of a certain area, but the new product measures temperature at one point (such as the center of forehead).
Though the Thermo Mirror has fewer functions than infrared thermography devices, NEC Avio made design improvements. While infrared thermography devices look like industrial equipment, the new product is integrated with a desktop mirror.
When a subject looks into the mirror, it automatically starts measurement. If the measured temperature is at or lower than a threshold temperature, it is displayed in green. And if the temperature is higher than the threshold, it is displayed in red and an alarm sounds.
The high-end model of the Thermo Mirror (SX-01B) can output signals to an external device when the measured temperature exceeds a threshold temperature. Also, it is possible to input measurement triggers from external devices.
Though other companies might be able to develop a device that automatically measures the temperature of forehead, the Thermo Mirror can automatically set a threshold temperature.
"Skin surface temperature changes depending on surrounding environment," NEC Avio said. "So, it is necessary to set a threshold temperature in consideration of environment. We used know-how that has been accumulated for many years by developing infrared thermography devices."
The dimensions of the Thermo Mirror are 125 (W) x 200 (H) x 66mm (D) excluding its stand. Its weight is about 1.2kg. The prices of the SX-01A and SX-01B are ¥98,000 and 120,000 (excluding taxes), respectively. NEC Avio aims to sell 5,000 units in the first year and 10,000 units in the second year. (Reprint Tech-on!)