'Fever detection' cameras to fight coronavirus? Experts say they don't work

Publication Title
NBC News
Publication/Creation Date
March 27 2020
April Glaser (creator)
Shing Tao (contributor)
John Honovich (contributor)
Steve McClinton (contributor)
Lisa Falzone (contributor)
Joseph Fair (contributor)
Jay Stanley (contributor)
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) (contributor)
Ben Vo (contributor)
Persuasive Intent
NBC News found more than 10 security companies in the U.S., Europe and China that are marketing technologies as capable of picking out who in a crowd is likely to have a fever, and thus a possible coronavirus case. These companies are actively pitching to police departments, government agencies, schools, hospitals and private businesses.

The idea is that thermal cameras can ferret out sick people in a crowd by finding those who have elevated temperatures, according to 11 surveillance companies NBC News found marketing the technology as a form of coronavirus detection. Fever is a symptom of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

But the problems with this technology, according to thermal imaging and virus surveillance experts, is that thermal imaging is an imprecise method for scanning crowds, and doesn't measure inner-body temperature.

HCI Platform
Relation to Body
Related Body Part
Entire Body, Face

Date archived
April 16 2020
Last edited
July 5 2021
How to cite this entry
April Glaser. (March 27 2020). "'Fever detection' cameras to fight coronavirus? Experts say they don't work". NBC News. NBC News. Fabric of Digital Life. https://fabricofdigitallife.com/Detail/objects/4371