Omron optical sensors in a touch-free post-COVID world

30th September 2020
Alex Lynn

Omron has announced that it is supporting the safe reopening of spaces after lockdown with a wide range of optical sensors. These components can form a vital part of an effective infection control regime within buildings, rooms and even crowd-controlled spaces by monitoring body temperature measurement, counting the density of people in an area and reducing the need to touch surfaces.

Gabriele Fulco, European Product Marketing Manager for Omron, commented: “Opto-sensing technology has an important role to play in coronavirus countermeasures and no-contact sensors provide a solid basis to solutions for access control and body temperature measurement. They can also replace ‘touch-based’ switches to operate lights and other services with the potential to becoming the norm once COVID is a distant memory.”

Omron D6T thermal sensors are based on an infrared sensor which measures the surface temperature of objects without touching them, using a thermopile element which absorbs radiated energy from the target object. The D6T 4x4 sensor can measure face temperature at distances up to 1m for access control, whilst the D6T single-eye sensor is more suitable for wrist or forehead wearable devices.

With suitable calibration, the temperature accuracy on the D6T 4X4 sensor can reach ±0.2oC, giving a reliable identification of fever, and a matrix type sensor makes it easy to separate human and background temperatures.

The Omron HVC-2 image sensors can detect faces, facial features and human bodies, even estimating age and gender of the humans in the captured image. Basic sensing functions could aid distancing in the workplace or public spaces by counting the number of people in the room or detecting when people are too close together. The sensor can also reduce physical interaction for customers who stand in front of digital signage, providing targeted messages to people in at-risk categories.

The Omron B5W-LB LCR contactless switch can be implemented in environments where the spread of harmful bacteria and viruses needs to be reduced, such as doors, drinks dispensers, light switches, soap dispensers and toilet flushes.

The sensor is distinguished by the reliability and repeatability of detection performance, even when presented with target items of different colours and types of surface, including reflective surfaces. Long detection distance and a convergent light beam triggers accurately on an object within a tightly specified target area, ignoring any objects in the background or foreground.

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