Granule Holdings bring smart helmet for COVID-19 screening to SA

As the government prepares to ease South Africa’s nationwide lockdown to Level 3 at the end of the month, more people are set to go back to work, making it crucial that measures are put in place to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With increasing levels of economic activity soon to resume in several of the country’s economic sectors such as banking, retail, mining and manufacturing, screening and testing by employers and authorities alike will take centre stage to ensure that infections are contained.

However, screening thousands of people per day will put a huge strain on resources, and it is up to all stakeholders to work towards the strengthening and sustainability of prevention measures at workplaces, at public transport hubs and other public places such as hospitals and clinics.

Thanks to a new device that is now available in the South African market, mass screening of people have just become so much easier. This makes it especially useful in densely populated residential areas, where social distancing is difficult to maintain, and the risk of infection is high.

Local company Granule Holdings is now distributing smart helmets to monitor people for high temperatures in the fight against COVID-19. The KC N901 smart helmet can scan the temperatures of up to 200 people every minute and has been well received by authorities in countries such as China, Italy, The Netherlands and Dubai.

“The product offers the ability to do rapid screening and can be used for indoor and outdoor screening, which is important in our country in informal settlements, public transportation hubs, corporates, industrial plants and medical providers. It works on temperature recording and keeps a history of the individuals scanned,” says Jeremy Capouya, Founder and CEO of Granule Holdings.

“It also incorporates Artificial Intelligence (AI) that makes use of facial recognition and licence plate recognition. This makes it an efficient and easy device to use for screening at large public areas, busy economic hubs and border control.”

While there are a number of temperature scanning devices available on the market, the KC N901 smart helmet is distinguished by its ability to perform mass screening of up to 200 people per minute, its Artificial Intelligence (AI) features like face recognition and number plate recognition, and the ability for the device to be used indoors and outdoors, make it a versatile device for any environment.

The KC N901 smart helmet comes equipped with an Advanced RISC Machines (ARM) processor, an augmented reality display screen, an infrared camera for night use, as well as a visible light camera for daytime use. The wearer can detect the temperature, within 0.3 degrees Celsius, of people standing about two metres apart.

The device is designed to work offline, and all data is stored on the helmet itself with a 64GB internal memory. The AI capabilities support offline face and licence plate recognition. Face recognition allows the device to recognise a person’s face and pull up their personal information from its database, making it an ideal use case for airports, banking sector, mining sites and manufacturing plants, to manage their employees and visitors. With number plate recognition, the wearer can identify unauthorised vehicles recorded in its database. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capability make the data easily transferable at a later stage.

The device also boasts AI-driven 3D Barcode Recognition and QR code identification to automatically record personal temperature information into the smart helmet’s database in real-time, allowing paperless data logging.

The KC N901 smart helmet runs off the Windows and Android operating systems. The helmet also comes with a smartwatch, which can run all functions of the helmet, as required by the user.

“The helmets need less time and contact than traditional temperature screening products and thermometers and can measure temperatures from five metres away. An alert is triggered if a fever is detected,” adds Capouya.

“It is especially crucial at this time – when there is an urgent need to resume economic activity – that we put in place whatever measures we can to take the pressure off our healthcare system and help stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Click here to view a video of how the KC N901 smart helmet works.

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