Business / Tech

Contactless service kiosk in Japan upgraded to take temperatures

by Dina Kartit

Contributing writer

A contactless customer service kiosk used in shops and stations has been upgraded to take people’s temperatures — a step now being taken at many venues reopening from the emergency declared for the coronavirus pandemic.

Information technology firm Co. launched a new version of the AI Sakura-san kiosk with distant thermography capability on Monday. It can automatically take the temperature of a person standing in front of the screen and issue instructions if the reading exceeds 37 degrees.

AI Sakura-san can be operated completely by voice or gesture, meaning it can respond to a variety of requests without anyone touching the screen.

The system was created in 2016 to replace traditional reception services in companies affected by the national labor shortage. The contactless features were added in April to address growing concerns about coronavirus infection from touching high-contact items like doorknobs, handrails and elevator buttons.

Manga-inspired characters on the screen offer information in English and other languages.

Tifana hopes the system, which is used by more than 300 transport, hospitality and other companies, will spread to hospitals and schools.

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