Airport kiosk manufacturer, Elenium, has developed a self-service technology designed to detect a passenger’s temperature, heart rate and ask a series of questions from a distance of 1.5 meters at any airport touchpoint such as a kiosk, bag drop, security or immigration – enabling the self-service device to act as a screening station for potential symptoms of COVID-19. In partnership with Amazon Web Services, Elenium has also developed “hands free” technologies that enable touchless use of self-service devices, thereby further minimizing the potential of any virus transmission.
In partnership with Amazon Web Services, Elenium has also developed ‘hands free’ technologies that enable touchless use of devices through voice recognition and head movement detection, thereby further minimizing the potential of any viral or bacterial transmission.
CEO and Co-founder, Aaron Hornlimann, said the company recognized an opportunity to enhance existing systems to instill greater confidence in the traveling public during this crisis and in future.
“The potential benefit of such enhancements is to provide peace of mind to passengers and staff that symptoms of illness can be detected at any self-service terminal, so anyone who presents with these symptoms can be intercepted before boarding an aircraft,” he said.
Elenium created a triage kiosk prototype and is currently in discussions with existing aviation customers regarding introducing the technology into airports, including Etihad Airways who will trial the technology.
“While it is a very difficult time for the industry, airports have an opportunity during this shut down to make changes now that inspire greater confidence in their processes and solutions, especially when it comes to passenger safety and inclusiveness,” Hornlimann said. “We believe the introduction of touchless devices and automated health screening will encourage passengers to return to travel sooner.”
Jorg Oppermann, VP HUB and Midfield Operations, Etihad Airways said: “We are testing this ‘fit to fly’ technology because we believe it will not only help in the current environment but also into the future with assessing a passenger’s suitability to travel and thus minimizing disruptions”
The first patent innovation relates to the ability to triage someone at a self-service touchpoint point prior to boarding a plane. It is designed to automatically suspend the self-service check-in or bag drop process if a passenger’s vital signs indicate potential illness symptoms. At an airport, the system would screen every individual, including multiple people on the same booking. The technology can be retrofitted into any airport kiosk or bag drop or installed as a desktop system at a passenger processing point such as an immigration desk.
If someone tests outside of acceptable tolerance, the system is able to divert to a remote agent or alert in-person staff who can then make further assessments and manage that passenger as appropriate. The company has also lodged a patent on the touchless use of self-service devices, including reading passports by simply holding them up to the camera.
Elenium is actively exploring opportunities to introduce self-service kiosks at locations outside of airports, utilizing the vital sign detection technology. Applications include automated triage or access to facilities that will require different treatment of visitors and employees, dependent on their physical condition.