Edgeworx, the edge computing company, has launched a new AI-powered camera called Darcy to help protect workplaces of every size. In addition to detecting signs of fever, Darcy’s AI engine identifies whether individuals are wearing a face mask, tracks self-reported symptoms and delivers a quick, comfortable screening experience ideal for high-traffic environments.
Organizations currently face an impossible choice between affordable, but ineffective, temperature readers (such as point and click devices or tablets) on the one hand, and cost-prohibitive medical-grade thermal cameras on the other. Darcy ends this dilemma by offering the accuracy of a precision thermal camera at a fraction of the price. At $799 for the hardware and $99 per month (with yearly subscription), Darcy costs less than a fifth of the price of competing FDA-compliant thermal cameras, putting it within reach of schools and small businesses as well as enterprises and large retail outlets. To further ensure screening is accessible to all, Edgeworx is offering the first camera free to all public schools. The solution is already being piloted in Bay Area and New York schools.
Despite their five-figure price tags, precision thermal cameras are slow, ungainly, inaccurate and hard to operate. Some take as much as an hour to warm up and need regular recalibration. By contrast, Darcy uses artificial intelligence and smart-room sensors to do the work of expensive hardware. Darcy logs self-reported symptoms via a mobile app, and checks for temperatures in less than a second, keeping lines moving and avoiding dangerous congestion at entry points. It provides real-time alerts and data reports so organizations can spot outbreaks early, take appropriate action and demonstrate compliance with public health mandates. And it can be updated with additional features (such as AI for social distance checks) as public health practices evolve—no additional hardware required. Darcy provides peace of mind to businesses, employees, and customers.
“Safety checks will become a feature of daily life as we return to our schools and workplaces. But many of these checks will be ineffective because organizations can’t afford high-end solutions that cost tens of thousands of dollars so they rely on devices that have been hastily thrown together and are inaccurate. That has to change,” said Farah Papaioannou, president and co-founder of Edgeworx. “We developed Darcy because we knew we could use our AI, data and edge computing knowledge to really help people struggling with the challenges of re-opening. We’re focused on protecting all workplaces with a solution that’s affordable and accurate today—and is smart enough to adapt as the world’s knowledge of COVID-19 and other viruses evolves in the future.”
Manhattan preschool program Kids At Work is among the organizations using Darcy to create a reliable and reassuring screening experience for children and staff.
“We were searching for a health check solution that would give families peace of mind and be non-intrusive for our student population, from infants to five-year-olds,” said Julie Averill, founder at Kids At Work. “Darcy checked all our boxes with its seamless experience, easy record-keeping and affordability. We’re also thrilled with the day-long temperature monitoring feature. As an owner, I feel so much more confident about reopening with Darcy.”
Darcy owes its speed, precision and low cost to Edgeworx’s edge computing fabric, which allows Artificial Intelligence (AI) to run on the device rather than in the cloud. Darcy’s AI performs many of the functions that require expensive hardware on other devices. Key benefits include:
Accuracy and reliability
Darcy reads temperatures with a margin of error of 0.5 degrees Centigrade. It overcomes the traditional challenges of contactless temperature monitoring with several innovations:
- Using AI, Darcy identifies where on a person’s face the reading should be taken, determines if they are close enough and whether they are wearing anything, such as a headband or sunglasses, that would interfere with an accurate reading, and automatically adjusts to body temperature fluctuations caused by circadian rhythms throughout the day and even the weather outside.
- To offset the effect of room temperature on a reading, most thermal cameras require an expensive scientific instrument called a blackbody reference unit, which maintains its own temperature and is used to calibrate the reading from the camera. By contrast, Darcy calibrates its readings against inexpensive smart sensors that attach to objects around the room, read the temperature of those objects and report it continuously and wirelessly to the camera. Not only is this significantly less expensive, but also less prone to failure, requires no maintenance and means the camera can be moved without triggering a lengthy recalibration process.
- Darcy takes readings in less than 100 milliseconds and uses data processing to identify any anomalies. As a result, by the time a person has approached the camera, Darcy may have 10 to 40 readings and can ensure that only a reliable one is recorded. Traditional cameras take only one reading, whether reliable or not, increasing the chances that a person with fever is not detected.
Check mask usage and symptoms
Darcy goes beyond temperature scanning to help organizations identify high-risk individuals who may not have a fever. Its AI identifies whether the individual is wearing a mask and allows organizations to conduct efficient wellness checks: Visitors complete a symptom survey from their home or phone via an app, which generates a unique QR code to be scanned by Darcy at entry. Additional features can be easily deployed so these devices can adapt as new practices come into play, without costly hardware changes.
Avoid long lines and unsafe crowding at entry points
Because all the processing happens locally on the camera rather than in the cloud, performance is dramatically improved, avoiding the need for delays while a person’s temperature is checked. Beautifully designed, unobtrusive and with a friendly interface, Darcy makes screening quick, easy and unintimidating. By installing additional cameras in pass-by mode, schools and businesses can continue to monitor temperature and mask usage throughout the day—and throughout the building—without interrupting schedules.
Get real-time alerts and compliance reports
Darcy provides warnings via SMS, email, app or desktop notification so organizations can get early warnings of facilities where symptoms are trending and create a complete audit trail for compliance with public health mandates. Armed with data, organizations can make informed decisions and implement targeted measures rather than resorting to broad closures.
Built-in privacy and security
Because Darcy handles storage and AI processing locally, it never sends images or sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) to the cloud.
Organizations can choose from two subscription packages and schedule a demo here.
- Monthly subscription: $129/month, plus $999 one-off cost for the camera
- Yearly subscription: $99/month ($1,188 total), plus $799 one-off cost for the camera
Until the end of 2020, Edgeworx is donating a free camera to any public school that purchases a subscription. To apply for a free camera, please contact Edgeworx.