LOS ANGELES – As businesses work to reopen, the CDC released new guidelines for employers. Their recommendation is that businesses seeking to resume normal or phased operations should be conducting daily health checks. This would mean taking employees' temperatures before each shift.
Technology may be the answer to reopening society in any capacity. Chairman of Cali Group, John Miller, has spent years developing new products to make the restaurant industry more efficient and now his job is expanding. About four years ago Cali Group started working on PopID, which allows customers who opt in to pay by using facial recognition.
“We thought it would be easier for consumers to have their faces scanned to transact instead of using phones or cards or cash,” said Miller.
But once Covid-19 altered our way of life, the technology changed with it. Miller says Cali Group took PopID and combined it with their thermal technology creating a way for employees to have their faces scanned to check into work, but also have their temperatures taken before even entering the facility. This new device, PopEntry was tested early on at their chain of restaurants, CaliBurger.
“The idea is fully automated temperature testing, instead of having a person holding the thermometer and test you as you come in. You walk in, it recognizes you, and takes your temperature. Temperature testing is really important in restaurants, because they have to go to work, they can’t stay at home and are working closely together,” said Miller.
The company’s CEO never expected this system to be up and running so quickly, before it was even proven fully effective, but they are already installing it in restaurants, offices and senior living facilities. He thinks businesses are willing to take more risks during this global pandemic.
“It’s gone a lot faster than expected, I would say. We are planning on rolling out 1,000 in the month of May, much faster than they would go if it wasn’t driven by the urgency in the market,” said Miller.
Right now, PopEntry with temperature testing is only being used for employees, the company has not expanded this for consumer use yet.
“I think it does depend on how the government decides to regulate things and what consumers will accept, because there are privacy issues and people may not accept having their temperatures taken when walking into a restaurant,” said Miller.
They are already looking to the future, hoping the technology could be used in more locations and even help the government tackle any virus outbreaks.
“Potentially to see hot-spots early on. If you see a lot of people getting sick in a certain area, if they are showing up to work and having temperatures, it can help make decisions in certain areas if they are having issues,” said Miller.
But for now, Miller will see if PopEntry will allow businesses to stay healthy and in service as we slowly recover from this pandemic.