Measuring people’s temperature, counting footfall and checking mask wearing are the three pillars of the innovative technological solution developed by Cegelec 3S to ensure better compliance with health restrictions in public buildings.

Since the introduction of social distancing measures in spring 2020, multiple initiatives have surfaced to offer technological solutions to health restrictions. In France, the reopening of shops in the summer, and again a few weeks before the end-of-year festivities following the second lockdown, boosted the use of these tools either to measure people’s temperature or to record numbers and manage people flow.

The VINCI Energies business unit Cegelec 3S, based in Caen and specialised in the design of system, safety and security solutions, designed a complete solution tailored to Covid-19 safety rules during the early weeks of lockdown.

“Thanks to some computer programming and a good understanding of the encoding used, we were able to manipulate the interoperability of this equipment.”

The approach was to combine an automated temperature detection system, people counting and visual and/or audible alerts to regulate access to an industrial or commercial site.

“This ‘contactless’ service came from an initiative by our innovations team, who contacted manufacturers of thermal cameras with the intention of finding wider uses for them,” explains Jean Loop, CEO of Cegelec 3S.

“Thanks to some dedicated computer programming and a good understanding of the encoding used in instruments of this type, we were able to manipulate the interoperability of this equipment to add to its primary function – measuring temperature – with additional functionality such as detecting mask wearing, counting people in and out, and allowing or denying access to an establishment,” he adds.

Increasing return on investment

As part of preliminary work for the store group E. Leclerc, teams from Cegelec 3S completed their initial device as early as April, with visual signalling (green/red light) for controlling entry, and with information being uploaded automatically to the security PC or the fire safety and personal assistance office in the event of non-compliance with the instructions.

“We also have the option to add an automated solution to give people audio information messages,” says Jean Loop. This multifunctionality represents “An opportunity for the buyer of our ‘contactless’ package to significantly increase their return on investment.” The cost of the equipment varies between €2,000 and €9,000 depending on the services selected.

The different ranges of cameras developed by Cegelec 3S, from a simple thermal camera to the full package, have already been rolled out in care homes and training centres in Normandy; the Tour Total in La Défense, Courbevoie; and at Masselin Tertiaire, the Caen-based VINCI Energies subsidiary specialised in tertiary-sector electrical engineering.