GovTech licenses smart thermal scanner software to SMEs, non-profit organisation

THE Government Technology Agency (GovTech) has licensed the software for SPOTON, a smart thermal scanner for mass temperature screening, to four Singapore-based distributors, it said on Thursday.

The distributors are non-profit organisation Extra.Ordinary People, and three small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) - ADERA Global, Scanmed Technology (Singapore) and SmartScan Machine.

The agency said as more venues reopen over the next few months, places with high footfall, such as malls, offices and places of worship, will need a seamless and fast temperature screening process to minimise congestion.

Hence, it has licensed out the software to help meet public demand for an "affordable, accurate and effective" automated temperature screening solution, it added.

Under the licensing agreement, GovTech will provide SPOTON version 1.0 software to the four distributors for free, and provide training and technical support.

The distributors will, in turn, purchase the necessary hardware and hire staff to assemble the scanners and provide after-sales support to customers. They will set their own selling prices, but must comply with GovTech's requirements for the hardware used in the assembly, the agency said.

It added that Extra.Ordinary People has committed to providing work for individuals with special needs - such as those on the autistic spectrum and with disabilities - and those from lower-income groups, who will be trained to assemble the thermal scanners.

SPOTON was first developed by GovTech in February. By integrating SPOTON's deep learning-based software with low-cost, off-the-shelf hardware such as an RGB-Depth camera, long-wave infrared camera and printed circuit board, the agency said it has developed an "affordable, robust and accurate" temperature screening solution.

The scanner can screen up to 10 people at any one time, with an accuracy range of between 0.3°C and 0.5°C in indoor and outdoor environments, it added.

SPOTON will trigger an alarm and send an email alert to the venue operator if an individual's temperature exceeds a pre-defined threshold of 37.5°C. It can also detect and indicate when an individual is not wearing a face mask, GovTech said. Since April, GovTech has worked with other government agencies to deploy 50 SPOTON units at various locations, including the Supreme Court, Ministry of Education headquarters, Our Tampines Hub, Changi Exhibition Centre community isolation facility, HDB branch offices and mosques, it added.

GovTech senior director (Smart Nation Platform Solutions) Lim Chinn Hwa said the agency had received numerous queries from public agencies and private companies on purchasing SPOTON. However, it believes the solution can "serve a larger public good", and decided to license the software to private and non-profit companies to commercialise and scale it to meet urgent demand.

"In doing so, we also hope to grow the capabilities of our SMEs, foster a more vibrant local Information and communications technology industry and at the same time, strengthen public-private sector partnerships to collectively keep citizens safe from Covid-19," Mr Lim added.

GovTech said it will consider extending the SPOTON version 1.0 software licence to other companies interested in distributing the thermal scanners. It is working on a second version of the software with more advanced features, such as pose recognition, heart rate and oxygen saturation measurements. This version is expected to be ready in the first quarter of 2021.