Fooled by KASSA!
by Eduard Schaepman, on 23 Oct 2020
Two weeks ago, we were asked by TV show ‘Kassa’ to participate in an item about thermic cameras. One look at our press page www.tribes.world/press shows that we’re often asked for such publicity, and so we decided to participate. When you know the show, you know that you can expect that something isn’t right, or that they suspect something isn’t right. And indeed, that was the case.
That same press shows that we like to be transparent and share everything, although it’s not quite perfect, so I was ready for it, last Wednesday at 2pm at our location Amsterdam Amstel. I rescheduled some appointments, because I knew what kind of sharp questions might be asked, since I regularly watch ‘Kassa’. The idea was that I would show them the thermic camera and explain why we chose to have one in our location. In this case, your temperature is being measured on the wrist, and will give a signal when your temperature is at or above 37.5 degrees. Since this thermic camera has a deviation of 0.2-0.3 degrees, it will give an alarm at a measured 37.3 degrees Celsius.
A few minutes before 2pm, the phone rang: the team was running late because their ‘test subject’ had a delay. We thought it was suspicious, especially because they said they couldn’t use another ‘test subject’. We proposed to ask one of our members or colleagues to be test subject; there were enough present and in for a ‘one-minute-of-fame’ by showing how the thermic wrist camera works. That made me feel nervous, and I thought ‘I hope they don’t bring someone who tested positive for corona’. But fortunately, they didn’t, when the test subject walked in after waiting half an hour, it turned out to be a healthy young lady.
The young lady turned out to be a medical student, who just traveled from the university by bike. There, she had been sitting in a climate loft until her body had reached a fever temperature. To keep that temperature, she wore thermo leggings and a thermo shirt, with a leather jacket to fool the thermal camera. With a rectal thermometer, she could see her temperature at any moment, and it indicated 38.1 degrees, while our thermal camera indicated 36.2 degrees. Of course, that raises questions, which I can’t answer myself, but the supplier of this camera can. Fortunately, he will do that tomorrow in the broadcast. By the way, the team and the test subject also went to other locations (not ours) to test multiple thermal cameras. Nowhere a fever temperature was measured.
But still, it didn’t feel quite right to me: the thermic camera was there for months and we had no problems with it. But to be honest, we never had anyone feeling feverish in our location, let alone taking his temperature with this thermic camera. And what also raised my doubts, is that my own temperature was the same on the thermic camera and the handheld indicator (a small version like the picture above, for a second check). I phoned around, and a friend of mine had the flu, with a raise. Luckily, he received the negative result of his corona test the day before, and he wanted to participate to a practical test. He measured his own temperature the at home (rectal): 38.4 degrees. After opening hours, we drove together to the Amstel location and measured his temperature 3 times with the wrist meter. That indicated 38.2, 38.3 and 38.2 degrees. With 0.2-0.3 degrees deviation, exactly according to the book. After the wrist measurement we also checked his temperature with the handheld meter, which showed 38.2 as well (3 times in a row).
So, are we fooled by Kassa or not? I wonder if they managed to fool the thermal camera! If there is scientific evidence that this way of measuring temperature does not work, we’ll of course adapt our methods. But with the practical test I have done myself (of course you want to see for yourself when you’re an entrepreneur), I have my doubts. Hopefully tomorrow we will see how much scientific value the Kassa research has!