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Moving forward with Covid-19 with FEEVR and XLabs co-founder Todd Dunphy

16th June 2020 Print

X.labs is a leading technology company in the area of public safety. The CEO and Founder of X.Labs is Barry Oberholzer.  Todd Dunphy became the first investor, Co-Founder, and Chief Operating Officer.  The two came up with the products together, but Barry Oberholzer had started the company in 2018 and started doing research and development based on a simple concept of modernizing public safety.  

They currently have two artificial intelligence products, Feevr and Sword.  There is intelligence written in the code of these products that allows the machine to think and learn.  

Feevr can read someone’s temperature from a distance.  What you are effectively doing is reading their skin temperature.  You are not reading their core body temperature because that can only be determined by taking a temperature orally with a thermometer.  Measuring with a thermometer is the most accurate way to determine core body temperature.  

Feevr reads skin temperature.  The closest measurement you can get on the skin that is close to your core temperature is on your inner eyelid and forehead.  What X.Labs has done through Feevr is created a detection system that uses the camera to be able to put a target right on the forehead and inner eyelid to measure that temperature.  That is the artificial intelligence/software that is built into Feevr.  

In skin temperature reading, the environment you are in plays a very big role.  If you are in a room that is 55 degrees or 90 degrees, that is the ambient temperature or the temperature around you, which is different than your temperature.  Feevr uses facial detection because if you don’t detect the temperature on the person’s face, then you are really gathering measurements from the whole room and not from the person.  

Feevr, as well other products, including the little temperature guns that are wiped across the forehead or are pointed at the forehead, are measuring skin temperature.  There is a correlation between your skin temperature and your core body temperature.  Effectively if you have a 92.9 skin temperature, that actually correlates to a 98.6 core temperature.  The only way your skin actually gets close to your core body temperature is if you are actually sick.  The more your body heats up, then the more your skin heats up.  But when you go up to 98.4 your core temperature is actually 100.7.  

Feevr, and temperature guns are actually reading skin temperature, but some of these products convert the skin temperature into the correlating core body temperature.  Feevr does this through the use of a button to automatically convert the skin temperature reading to the correlating core body temperature.  It is an automatic conversion. 

How did you get started with Feevr? 

We launched Sword at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year.  We were working on having it ready to start getting tested and shipped to clients for the first beta testing in April and May.  The first version of Sword which we launched in 2019 was a research and development project.  No one bought it.  We had an iPhone with a cage around it and we had a special thermal camera in it, and the thermal camera was scanning you to see to see the colder objects in your pocket.  

Your body has a temperature and objects you carry usually have a different temperature.  If we found a colder object in your pocket, or in your jacket or wherever, and then we used the other camera on the iPhone, like a regular camera, to do what’s called object detection.  It creates an outline of a gun and so we could figure out if it was a phone or a gun or something else.  We did that by seeing the difference between the temperature between the object and your body and then we used AI to figure if it was a weapon.  We build this whole thermal system and it was really cool, but what happened was during testing we found if you carried a weapon on you for a period of time, it started to warm up.  Basically, the product didn’t work the way we wanted.  We spent a lot of money and spent a lot of time on thermal apps and cameras and detection and all this stuff.  

Then one of our clients called us in March and said:  Hey, I was at your launch event last year.  Is there any way you guys can re-engineer your product from last year and make it for just temperature scanning?  Use a similar thermal camera, used your app, but instead of detecting an object, detect a face because I have businesses and employees I need to bring back and I can’t use the temperature guns anymore.  They’re not safe.  They’re very ineffective.  They don’t create a good culture for me, and they violate social distancing rules.  What do you guys think?  We already had so many parts of it done.  That was around March 7, 2020, and we went to work for two weeks and then we started shipping the product on March 27, 2020.  

Where do you see it going? 

For us, it is a natural progression.  If you were to ask anyone what the top five issues in the world were five months ago, mass shooting would have probably come up quite a bit. Now, you do not hear anything about mass shootings, primarily because people are not gathering in mass. In just the blink of an eye, it’s a different world now.  

Where Sword comes into play, I think of it as a hardware upgrade to Feevr.  Feevr is a smaller unit on a tripod.  It is more the size of a mobile phone and people do connect it to a bigger monitor system, so they do not have to stand behind a little tiny screen to see people.  

But in the next phase of Feevr with Sword 1.0, you will now have weapon detection and a body temperature reading all in one big tablet. That is where the two products come together.  Our clients, the people who are buying Feevr are the exact same people that need to deal with weapon detection.  

I don’t know if Feevr as a stand-alone product will disappear because maybe some people will want just that, but I believe Feevr as a physical product will probably end up being a capability inside of Sword.  

What are the benefits of Feevr during this pandemic?

I think that Feevr is going to be important, because temperature as a measurement of health is something we know and accept.  We have been taking our temperature our whole life.  If you have a little baby and your baby has a fever, the parents immediately go to the emergency room.  Parents can be so afraid because if the temperature gets elevated, their baby could die. 

Now if you want to get in and out of a venue or if you want to go on this flight or if you want to get on this train, you are going to have to prove to me that you are healthy.  It is very challenging to do that with surveys and other tools.  With a temperature, at least it is a concrete number.  

What trends in the industry excite you?

We are in public safety.  That is our game, and we’re trying to reinvent it.  Basically, what we had been waiting for is people to finally recognize that public safety in general is very low tech, and it has not advanced at the same level of anything else.  If you take the experience of going to a concert in the 1990s and you have that same experience now, it’s totally different.  Look at yourself in the 1990s with no iPhone.  Everything we live by today was not around.  Look at all the stuff that was advanced and created and innovated and done, yet we are still going through a magnetometer and you are still getting padded down.  Security has not stepped up the game in public safety in technology.  That is what we’re excited about.  A big problem like this creates a lot of innovation.  

How do you think Feevr will affect various industries?

In China the surveillance, facial recognition, and temperature check process has been going on for a long time.  It’s not new over there.  It’s ironic considering where this whole thing started, but it’s not new over there.  

They cannot quantify if you are fatigued and they can’t quantify if you have a cough.  The only thing that they can be quantify as a symptom, if you will, without doing an actual test, is fever, so I think it’s going to be pretty normal to be checking it.  If you are going to be around people at any level of mass or tightness, like a plane, I think you’re going to have to prove that you’re healthy.  

Feevr with the Precheck app will enable the consumer to be free and move around, I will give access to my results.  With Precheck, you are not seeing my data, you are just seeing that I have checked that I am healthy.  

If you are an executive in Canada and you move between the U.S. and Canada a lot, they have a very fast way to get across the border.  They actually scan your eyes, but you have to go through a process.  You have to expose yourself.  You have to go a very serious interview process and they look into your background.  You have to give them all of your information, including your eye biometrics, and then they allow you to move between the countries faster.  The biometrics in your eye does not tell if you are good or bad.  All of the research and information gathering they do prior in this process determines that.  Then they give you this fast pass travel pass as an executive from Canada.  A lot of them do that to avoid inconvenience.  

I think many people in the world are going to want the same thing and they will be willing to expose their information in exchange for being able to be free and go places.  I think that will be the next situation that goes on, especially with the airlines.  These places that people know are germ hubs, like airplanes and gyms, they are going to be under a whole different level of pressure.

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