As we continue to return to offices, schools, and places of business, AV is playing a unique role in helping to ensure the health and safety of all involved. A prime example of these developments is the TAURI Temperature Check Tablet from kiosk solution provider Glory Star. The winner of an 2020 AV Technology InfoComm Best of Show award through its partnership with Aurora Multimedia, the device monitors the temperature of those entering a building and quickly displays whether or not they’re potentially ill.
We reached out to Cindy Cheung, Glory Star’s CCO, to learn more about the company and its recent developments.
AV Technology: Tell us about your company’s background of innovation and solving organizations’ obstacles.
Cindy Cheung: We’ve been in the business of creating self-service technology that helps companies solve evolving problems for more than 15 years. At that time, we invented a video player device. It was a breakthrough in the signage world because it replaced printed store ads and price labels with a small LCD screen. It showed product commercials right at the point of purchase, introducing new products and enticing customers.
Five years ago, we launched a full product portfolio of tablet-based kiosk and touchscreen solutions, which is a natural transition into our latest product, the TAURI Temperature Check tablet. TAURI is a contactless sensor-based tablet that was created to help businesses safely reopen by providing them with a device people are comfortable with to accurately screen their temperature and without an operator. In addition to the built-in infrared temperature sensor, TAURI can be further customized with messages or signage, facial recognition, and door access control. These options provide companies with automatic, contactless solutions that relieve the worry of inviting people back into businesses such as doctors’ offices, gyms, restaurants, government facilities, and factories.
AVT: How did the idea for a temperature check tablet come about?
CC: When businesses were reopening after the initial outbreak of COVID-19, my brother and I went out to dinner. We were unprepared when the waiter held up a gun-style thermometer to our heads. It felt invasive and threatening, and he had to stand rather close. Naturally, we became anxious in what should have been an enjoyable event. With this crisis, we saw that there was a need for a temperature check solution that would provide a better, more welcoming experience, so we leveraged our existing skill sets, hardware, and software to create TAURI.
AVT: How does TAURI give patrons a superior experience versus a regular thermometer?
CC: Compared to a temperature gun, TAURI is much faster and less invasive. Because of the speed at which TAURI scans—only a 3-second processing time from three feet away—schools that have them installed report that their screening times have drastically reduced, which in turn reinforces proper social distancing. By using an automatic temperature sensor, it’s not nearly as intrusive and safer because it’s self-service and completely touchless. It’s also in a tablet form factor, which people use in their everyday lives and are comfortable around.
AVT: Why did you choose an Android platform for your product?
CC: We chose Android because it is open-source platform allowing us greater flexibility to build many different sensors and functionalities. However, in order to develop Android products and have the skills to perform the way users want it to, they have to be trained. For example, when you turn on a consumer tablet, it goes to the main screen where you select the app you want to open. In a commercial tablet such as TAURI, it is designed to open directly within the app, which is a capability that has to be written into the firmware.
COVID-19, has put us in an unprecedented situation. Everyone is learning how to adapt, that’s why we have an expert team that has a lot of experience with Android. They are continuously writing new firmware and updates that advance the TAURI application as things unfold. As our customers reopen, we are listening to their feedback on what they need to create a better, safer experience. Because of this feedback we’ve added a questionnaire, messages, and door control integration. We also want to provide them with a long-term solution for greater ROI.
AVT: TAURI has a German-built sensor, which is unique. Why is this important?
CC: There are not many temperature sensor manufacturers because before now, demand wasn’t high. Germany is the source of some of the best sensors in the world. While a high-quality sensor is crucial for creating a superior product, there are a lot of other factors, not just the hardware, that create an accurate product and good customer experience. For example, how fast should the product scan? And from what distance? What is the error rate?
We have collected a vast amount of data to understand temperature levels, how they can naturally fluctuate, and that they vary from person to person. We used this information to create an accurate temperature check solution that reflects those variables. This is new territory for people, so we’re also advising and answering customers questions, such as what if I sweat? What if my temperature naturally rises after lunch or throughout the day? Our goal to ease their anxieties, educate them, and provide a precise temperature check product.
AVT: What does it take to set up TAURI?
CC: We designed our solution to be a plug-and-play right out of the box. It can be set up in seven minutes. Just connect the power cord, connect the stand or mount, and turn it on. Once it’s powered up, the easy-to-use interface self-calibrates. We did this because the environment, in addition to biological factors, can influence readings. In Alaska, for example, it is much colder and drier than Florida, where it’s hot and humid so that has to be factored into the base temperature. Should a customer want results to be kept private, TAURI includes a HDMI output. Using this connection, results can be sent directly to a secondary screen, such as at a security station or a reception desk at a doctor’s office upholding HIPPAA rules.
AVT: What is your hope for returning to the “new norm”?
CC: Our hope is that we can help to reduce some of the stress that COVID-19 has created in reopening and resuming operations. There has been an increase in drug use and mental health issues due to prolonged isolation and other stressors, such as having to balance taking care of kids while also working from home. The last thing we want is for our customers to feel anxiety—whether they are returning to work or dining out—because a staff member is pointing a temperature gun at them without their permission. During this time, it is important to promote a common goal and establish a shared connection, we hope people feel welcomed back into their community or wherever they need to go.