A handful of African countries are using the KC N901 Smart Helmet from KC Wearable to help track the spread of COVID-19. The helmets have already been deployed at airports and logistical hubs in South Africa, and have also appeared in Algeria, Egypt, and Gabon.
The KC N901 is primarily being used for fever detection. The wearable device can screen as many as 200 people per minute, determining each pedestrian’s temperature with 96 percent accuracy. The results are displayed on a visor, and can capture everyone within seven meters of the wearer.
The data generated with the KC N901 can be synced with other COVID-19 tracking applications. The helmet uses an infrared camera to perform temperature scans, and supplements that with facial recognition capabilities.
“Our mission has always been to do everything possible to reduce the spread of this disease,” said KC Wearable Global Head Jie Guo. “With a high fever being a common COVID-19 symptom, the KC N901 Smart Helmet is a quick, efficient and accurate way of identifying potential cases.”
KC Wearable noted that COVID-19 cases have spiked throughout Africa in recent months, with more than 720,000 cases and nearly 16,000 deaths across the continent. The company argued that the helmet can be particularly useful in areas with high population density.
“The KC N901 [is] particularly important to South Africa because of the ability to do rapid mass screening both indoors and outdoors. Most of the workforce rely heavily on public transportation,” added Granule Holdings Founder and CEO Jeremy Capouya.
At this point, dozens of technology providers have introduced thermal screening solutions to help venue operators watch for early symptoms of COVID-19. Vuzix partnered with Librestream to integrate temperature recognition into its M400 smart glasses, while companies like Suprema and Hytera have deployed thermal cameras in kiosks and other standalone devices. Many large venues have made thermal screening a central component of their strategy as they try to reopen safely during the pandemic.