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Smart Safety

Thermal cameras – hot or not

Three years prior to Covid-19, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) published  guidelines on how to implement thermal camera systems. Their guidance includes only measuring one person at a time, keeping the individual and camera close, and making sure each person pauses while directly facing the camera. However, this would be difficult to control during peak-times in busy public places such as an airport or train station.

Thermal cameras can be an effective tool used worldwide to reignite the public transport industry, whilst fighting the spread of Covid-19. Measurements happen in real-time, no physical contact is needed, and data can be obtained from behind the scenes. This reduces the risk of cross-contamination or harm to the operator and ensures little disruption to the commuter.  People who show up as having high temperatures can then be directed for further assessment and encouraged to isolate, helping curb the spread of Covid-19 . A high temperature of 37.8C or higher is one of the main symptoms associated with the virus. The system can be used with minimal training, making it a good option for implementation.

Furthermore, most thermal camera systems come equipped with facial recognition software to capture anyone who triggers an alert. Hospitals, shopping centres and office buildings around the world are now receiving facial images of every person who enters their facilities, enabling easier tracing. It is the responsibility of the organisation to securely store any data gathered in line with regulations.


around the world in 80 days (or more)



“Chinese public transport infrastructure will soon be equipped with thermal imaging cameras that can take temperatures remotely — with public authorities able to match the data with facial recognition systems, to build a comprehensive COVID-19 detection and tracking system in Wuhan.  The system automatically focuses on a passenger’s face and triggers an alarm when a temperature above 37 degrees centigrade is identified” (Source Computer Business Review)


“Spain is preparing its airports to welcome new international tourists. All incoming passengers from abroad have been submitted to a manual temperature check and after July 1, thermal cameras will be installed to standardise and automate the process. This is not the only new measure affecting the travel and transport industry, as Spain’s government also introduced a four-week hold on passenger information. This will enforce all airports, train stations and ports to keep contact details for passengers on hold for a minimum of four weeks” (Source Euroweeklynews)


“Italian-owned railway operator Trainose will on Friday switch on the thermal cameras it has installed at the two main railway stations in Athens and Thessaloniki as an additional precautionary measure against the spread of the coronavirus and for the protection of passengers and staff”. (Source Ekathimerni)


“Indian Railways is eyeing this as a new revenue stream. Now, train passengers in Bihar’s Patna railway station are being scanned by a thermal camera for symptoms like fever and whether they are wearing face masks, etc. But with this pilot project, Indian Railways will actually earn money for the use of that camera. The vendor authorized to sell disposable blankets, sanitizers, quilts, and face masks to passengers from a dedicated kiosk, will have to pay the national transporter, according to an IE report”. (Source Financial express)

Security-as –a-Service

Whilst thermal cameras are a hot topic in our current climate, it is also important to consider more traditional forms of ‘smart safety’. ‘Security-as-a-Service’ offers the train provider a monitoring service which will detect malicious activity and feed it back to a centralised point, identifying threats proactively. It is important to find a solution which protects your digital external environment to the train such as, the shoreside network and landing page. New threats are emerging each day, today can be secure but tomorrow an unknown threat could occur. A product will need Security-as-a-Service so that reviews can take place regularly, ensuring safety regulations are being updated accordingly. Security cannot stay static; it must evolve with the product lifecycle. The safest option is to be proactive, monitor data patterns to try and predict a threat and prevent it from happening again. Passenger safety is at the forefront of importance for any train operator, they must stay one step ahead as hackers, threats and technology advance.


Final Thoughts

Nomad Digital is a world leader in technology for trains and with cutting edge tech increasingly becoming a necessity, smart safety will be at the top of the list.  Since the recent pandemic, the way in which the transport operators view passenger safety has changed. More emphasis has been placed on protecting passengers from the virus and rightly so. Hence, why we have seen the introduction of thermal cameras to transport hubs around the world. However, it is still important for transport operators to be proactive and protect their digital hardware/software as well as their passengers.