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Freakin' Cool Tech: Orion's Temperature Kiosks

Published Friday Sep 4, 2020

Author Matthew J. Mowry

An employee has his temperature checked at an Orion Pre-Entry Temperature Reader Kiosk. Courtesy photo.

As businesses bring employees back into the workplace, many questions surround how to do so safely. Guidelines for reopening include taking employee temperatures before allowing them to enter, a task that can be burdensome and can come with logistical problems, especially for larger employers who must move people in quickly.

In a matter of weeks, using mostly local vendors, Orion Entrance Control, a Laconia-based manufacturer of entrance security technology, such as turnstiles, developed and rolled out the Orion Pre-Entry Temperature Reader Kiosk (OPTR-K).

The freestanding kiosk, launched in late May, has a 10-inch tablet that employees peer into, even standing a few feet away, that detects body temperature. It then flashes a message that they can proceed in. Or, for those whose temperature falls outside a company’s pre-determined allowable zone, a message provides further instructions.

The process takes five seconds per person, allowing the kiosk to take temperatures of 600 to 900 users per hour. (The kiosk reads temperatures one person at a time.) The company says temperature readings are accurate within half a degree.

The kiosk sells for $5,400 or leases for $197 per month for 36 months (though there is a discount for NH companies.) The kiosk is also ADA compliant, allowing scans of people from the height of a wheelchair to 6 foot 3 inches without any adjustments.

The kiosk can be operated with little or no training and is customizable, according to Orion. Companies set the acceptable temperature range and messages people receive are programmable. “We understood everyone was going to have a different protocol and set of procedures. That’s why messaging is customizable so you can have your own procedure within your organization,” says Tom Elliott, director of global business development.

Companies can choose the action triggered when an employee’s temperature is too high, such as “See the help desk.”
With connection to an access control setup, the system can automatically lock a door or shut down the employee’s door or gate card access to prevent them from entering the workplace.

Orion also offers its Infinity Remote Lane control software that can monitor multiple sensors from a central location.

Orion is developing a turnstile mount, and already offers wall mount and stand-alone desktop readers. The company also offers technology that recognizes whether someone is wearing a mask. If someone isn’t wearing a mask where it’s required, the system would react by either barring entry or sounding an alarm.

Orion Founder and President Steve Caroselli says the need to take temperatures in workplaces is something that will be part of regular operating procedures for at least several years. “I anticipate shipping thousands a month,” he says of potential demand.

“People want to feel safer coming back to work,” Elliott says. “This is a pre-entrance layer that produces data to help people make decisions in real time.”

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