The Met Installs Thermal Imaging As Bury Arts Centre Pilots Return of Live Audiences

The Met has installed a thermal imaging camera as part of the Bury arts centre’s wider preparations for safely re-opening its doors to the public. Installed by locally headquartered technology solutions specialist Avoira, the artificial intelligence equipped camera will automatically temperature scan visitors’ foreheads as they arrive in the theatre’s foyer. Within one second it will identify anyone carrying a raised body temperature, alerting staff through both visual and audio prompts, delivered via a monitor on the reception desk. Incredibly accurate, the camera deployed by Avoira is among a range unique on the market in operating as standard to within +/- 0.5 degrees Celsius. This is in line with international standards set for the use of screening thermographs when temperature screening for fever symptoms. Temperature readings are taken from a specific area of the forehead to prevent detection from other heat sources – such as a hot beverage – and ensure face masks can still be worn. The Met unveiled the technology last Friday (August 14) at a pilot event designed to test audience reaction to the venue’s COVID-19 protocols and the hosting of a live streamed concert. Organised in consultation with Bury Council and public health advisors, it saw 30 invited guests enjoying Met favourites Mad Dog Mcrea playing live at Bath’s Komedia venue. Other measures introduced include a one-way system, managed access to the toilets and table service. Track and trace data is captured through the venue’s booking system, with staff set to be temperature tested before starting every shift. “We are tiptoeing from a standstill to again welcoming live audiences to The Met,” explained artistic director, David Agnew. “Friday’s pilot event was all about testing how the building will operate and gauging audience reaction to a live streamed gig. “We’re going to ask all those who attended to give us feedback to see how comfortable they were with the precautions we’ve introduced and the quality of their experience. He added: “The thermal imaging camera is important not just because of what it does, but that it can be seen doing it. It gives visitors an early indication that we have absolutely everything in place, immediately reassuring them. “Our staff were very confident using it and every visitor was smoothly and successfully temperature tested on entry. I, personally, was surprised at just how quickly the camera works.” Andrew Roberts, managing director of Avoira, says thermal imaging technology is now being widely embraced as businesses and public sector organisations grapple with the challenges presented by COVID-19. “Thermal imaging is not a silver bullet, but this technology has an important role to play within organisations’ public and employee safety plans. It is impressively quick, highly accurate and, being so visually impactive, immediately conveys to customers that their safety is the highest priority.” The solution installed at The Met is just one of a range of thermal detection technology bundles launched earlier this year by Avoira. These embrace a range of fixed, turret and hand-held thermal detection camera systems, together with a walk-through solution. The company has already successfully installed thermal imaging solutions in a broad range of environments, including education, finance, healthcare and retail sites. These include Manchester’s Albert’s Schloss beer house, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber Space and the University of Bolton.