KC Wearable smart helmets being used across Africa
The helmet has the ability to detect fevers with 96% accuracy, and can screen the temperatures of up to 200 people a minute.
With more than 720 000 confirmed cases across Africa, COVID-19 has claimed nearly 16 000 lives. In an effort to reduce the devastating impact of the pandemic, several national authorities have partnered with technology and innovation company KC Wearable to use the company’s KC N901 Smart Helmet.
The helmet has the ability to detect fevers, the most prevalent COVID-19 symptom, with 96% accuracy, and can screen the temperatures of up to 200 people a minute, offering a quick and accurate alternative to traditional thermal cameras.
Powered by sophisticated facial recognition technology and an infrared camera, the helmet visor’s thermo-scan sensors show the temperature of people within a seven-metre radius and has the potential to link up to other data on COVID-19 tracking apps. It also stores all data itself with a 64GB internal memory.
SA was the first African country to use the helmet following a surge in cases last month and it is already being used in airports and logistics hubs across Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg.
Authorities in Algeria, Egypt and Gabon are now also using the smart helmet, as they look to better protect their populations and avoid further escalation of the pandemic.
Africa aside, the helmet is being used in more than 35 countries, including Indonesia, the UAE, Italy, Netherlands, Kuwait, Chile and Turkey. KC Wearable has partnered with national authorities and major transport hubs such as airports, as well as schools and hospitals, to detect COVID-19 symptoms in a range of settings.
Dr Jie Guo, global head of KC Wearable, said his company’s mission is to do everything possible to reduce the spread of COVID-19, to minimise the devastating impact that it is having on societies across the globe.
He said positive results have been seen in Europe, Asia and South America, and KC Wearable has been working in SA too, which has experienced great difficulty in controlling the rapid proliferation of COVID-19 since March.
“Working with authorities in South Africa, we aimed to bring some relief to the country’s citizens by complementing the government’s preventative measures,” Guo added. “We want to help other African countries too, as the infection rate continues to grow across the continent. 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.”
Bradford Wood, detection handler at K9 Law Enforcement, a security company contracted by the South African authorities, said: “Working with the country’s main airports, including in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, the helmet has proved vital in helping us detect and subsequently prevent outbreaks from domestic and international flights. The advanced technology and mass screening functionality of the helmets are crucial as the South African economy strives to return to normality.”