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Irish-made thermal scanner can test 200 people

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Ian Walsh (left) and Ian Murphy of Ventilux in Bray show off their new ITDS-200 dynamic thermal imaging scanner

Ian Walsh (left) and Ian Murphy of Ventilux in Bray show off their new ITDS-200 dynamic thermal imaging scanner

Ian Walsh (left) and Ian Murphy of Ventilux in Bray show off their new ITDS-200 dynamic thermal imaging scanner

An Irish firm has developed a ground-breaking temperature scanner that can process 200 people at once and is set to be a key asset in "normalising" society after lockdown.

Ventilux believes the scanner, developed using artificial intelligence, will become a vital part of post-pandemic daily life as it will allow airports, shopping centres, large companies, museums, concert venues and hotels to operate.

The scanner is so advanced it takes up to 35 temperature readings from each face, meaning that masks and scarves do not interfere.

Founded by Brendan Walsh, Ventilux is now run by his sons, Ian, Barrie and Ryan.

The Wicklow company makes emergency lighting and battery systems for hospitals as well as public and private buildings.

It normally employs 60 people, but because of the impact of the pandemic restrictions has had to reduce operations to a staff of eight.

Unique

Based in Bray, it is working with a company in Shenzhen, China, and has developed the ITDS-200 dynamic thermal imaging scanner.

"Thermal scanners have been a part of the landscape in the Far East for some time. You see them at airports and the like," said founder Mr Walsh.

"What's unique about this is that it was designed for centres where you have significant numbers of people."

The system, which can scan 200 people at once, not only reads temperatures, it also takes a photo of each individual so they can be traced if there is an alert over a high reading, which could be a symptom of Covid-19.

That photo is permanently deleted once the contact is traced, to comply with GDPR regulations.

Mr Walsh said the system was specifically designed for areas where people congregate in large numbers.

"It's a very accurate system which offers dynamic thermal measurements," he added.

Ventilux has received multiple enquiries about the system from across Europe and the Middle East.

"We have a demonstration unit up and running and we believe this system will play a key part in how we respond as a society to the virus once the pandemic lockdown is eased," Mr Walsh said.