MachineSense may not be brand new (it was founded in 2014), but its entrance into the security and building automation industry with a new and innovative technology is timely. The underlying platform is derived from IoT technology, combining sensor technology with algorithms to accurately and quickly measure various metrics, such as body temperature. With the emergence of COVID-19, the company has expanded its IoT focus to create FeverWarn, a thermal temperature scanning device.
Founder, President and COO Biplap Pal, and Executive Chairman Conrad Bessemer, founded MachineSense with the desire to thoroughly master and execute IoT technology across multiple industries and applications. Having successfully achieved that goal in the plastics industry by creating sensors and algorithms around predictive and prescriptive maintenance on machines that process plastic pellets, they have reacted to the immediate need for some type of first line defense against this current pandemic.
This major technology push to integrate cloud services, edge computer services and more cloud-based information diagnostics had, in 2018, earned MachineSense the highly coveted recognition by Microsoft as one of Microsoft’s top technology startups.
“We already had the base technology, so we built a thermal sensor system within two months, launched it in May, and the scanner started selling like hot cakes,” said Biplap Pal. “We are on track to ship out thousands [in August] — there’s a huge demand, and it’s growing exponentially.”
“This IoT platform, combined with the engineering and scientific staff at MachineSense, has brought a whole new approach to solving a myriad of issues facing manufacturing, office building automation, security, IT and now safety with this FeverWarn product,” Bessemer said.
Since the pandemic started, there has been a flood of thermal scanners entering the market, each touting the ability to accurately measure body temperature. FeverWarn is unique in several ways. First, it scans visitors’ fists instead of their forehead, avoiding the close contact and unreliability that often comes with forehead scanning (hats, hair bangs, make-up, sweating can produce an inaccurate reading). Second, if someone shows an elevated temperature, this product has the capability to integrate a serial relay controller that can be input via any on-premise device, such as door locks to prevent a person with an elevated reading from gaining entry. And third, unlike expensive walk-through scanning devices, FeverWarn is extremely cost-effective with equal if not more accurate temperature reading capabilities.
Pal points out that even after the pandemic subsides, these health detection technologies will still be extremely relevant to combat other infections, such as the seasonal flu.
FeverWarn isn’t the first new product MachineSense has created based on the challenges of its customers. Two years ago, the company reacted to a series of bridge collapses in Kolkata, India, and developed proprietary sensors and analytics to be placed on bridges to predict bridge cracks, thus helping to avoid future bridge failures.
In response to the current pandemic, the company is continuing to develop advanced screening products for high temperature detection. “One new product in BETA testing will detect respiratory issues as well as other signs of illness as new data points are developed,” Bessemer said. “In addition, the company is developing solution-based products for the pandemic that are focused on improving air quality and alerting users to an atmosphere that may provide for viral spread through aerosols.”
The company employs approximately 200 people in the U.S. and India, with offices in Baltimore, Md. and Kolkata, India. Along with its parent company Novatec, MachineSense has grown more than 300 percent in the past decade.
To find more information on how the product is being used in schools, hospitals and security-related industries, go to www.feverwarn.com.