A company called Resco announced on May 14 that it will be releasing their brand-new thermal screening technology. Their system allows cruise lines to monitor the health of their passengers, and it is being viewed as a potential tool to use in the fight against COVID-19 aboard cruise ships, a fight that is growing increasingly important as cruise lines struggle to remain financially viable.
What is it?
While the technology is much like what it sounds like (it scans temperatures of travelers on ships), there is more to it than that. In fact, it’s a multi-step process that begins before ever leaving the house. According to information released by Resco, there will be an app that links with their thermal system that passengers will download. They will then fill out medical and personal information that will be used by the system once they arrive at the port. Once on the ship, cameras will monitor the temperatures of guests to see if they are running a fever or not, allowing the ship to take a more active role in its outbreak prevention.
How does it work?
The system works by having several cameras posted throughout the ship at important points (which, according to Cruise Industry News, might be “pre-arrival, transfers, the cruise terminal, gangway, lobby, safety areas, outlets, restaurants, crew areas, crew mess”). These cameras use thermal imaging to see the temperature you’re running, as well as facial recognition to pair the temperature it reads with the correct traveler in their database. Resco says that they read temperatures with an accuracy of ±0.3°, meaning it is pretty accurate.
Will this work?
That’s a complicated question. Based on the information they’ve provided, this does seem like it could help in dealing with outbreaks of coronavirus on ships. However, it definitely won’t make ships completely safe. A large number of coronavirus cases present no symptoms, not even a fever. This means that people can be spreading the disease to others without showing up as sick on these cameras. Undoubtedly, other measures like a decrease in occupancy, stricter disinfecting and social distancing will need to occur to secure the safety of these ships.
With all of this said, it’s great to see companies innovating and working towards reopening the cruise industry in a safer way. It remains to be seen if this technology will end up catching on or not, but we’d like to see the implementation of it as it stands. Anything that helps decrease the spread of coronavirus is a good thing, especially if it is also helping the cruise industry!