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Temperature Scanners Comparison: Contactless Thermal Scanner vs. Forehead Thermometer

October 16th, 2020 | 6 min. read

By Dave Clark



Who could have guessed we’d be comparing contactless thermal scanners to a standard forehead thermometer—never in a million years! But, it is 2020, after all, and these crazy times continue challenging our everyday lives.

“How can my business navigate through such uncharted waters?” 

“What changes should we make that support our current and future business models?” 

“When is it safe to bring my employees back to the office?”

COVID-19 brought us a lot of uncertainties and confusion. If you’ve asked yourself any of the questions above, you’re not alone! If you think about it, none of us really know what we’re doing when it comes to the pandemic. 

However, becoming accustomed to a new (and safer) way of living is something we must do to protect ourselves and those around us. 

Whether your employees transitioned to working from home (WFH) or continued coming to the office, safety must remain your number one priority. If you’re beginning to bring some of your staff members back to work, you must have the best resources to keep everyone safe. 

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We’re comparing two kinds of temperature scanners to consider for your business:

  1. A Contactless and Automatic Thermal Scanner
  2. A Standard Forehead Thermometer 

By the way, there is a third type of temperature scanner for high-traffic areas. But, we’re choosing to leave this out as your business is most likely small to medium-sized—-and these scanners are very pricey (ten thousand dollars or more). 

Contactless Thermal Scanner vs. Standard Forehead Thermometer 

It’s always a nice feeling to have options—and with thermal scanners and thermometers, you have options galore. The tricky part is finding the best scanner for your organization and understanding your employees’ and visitors’ demands. 

The (Standard) Digital Forehead Thermometer

This temperature scanner is the one you’re most accustomed to seeing and is commonly used in doctor’s offices or home. This scanner is not contactless, though, as the administrator has to physically apply the device to a person’s forehead (or within an inch) to take their temperature. 

A digital forehead thermometer is not ideal for most businesses as it limits most social distancing requirements. This lax temperature screening method could put your employees at risk as they take a visitor’s temperature. 

The cost of this device ranges in price and is more affordable than a touchless and automated scanner. Keep in mind; cheaper doesn’t always mean better. You’ll see what I’m talking about later on.

Buyer beware! Most of the digital forehead scanners you see online probably say “contactless” or “touchless” in their name. However, this is not necessarily true! The thermometer administrator still has to come in close contact with you (about a foot away) to read your temperature accurately. 

The Automated, Contactless, And Thermal Temperature Scanner Kiosk

As I mentioned earlier, an automated and contactless temperature scanner is ideal for small to medium-sized businesses, regardless of the industry, the work they produce, or the products they sell. 

Although the cost may seem slightly steep at first, you’re truly getting what you’re paying for when it comes to keeping your employees and visitors safe with a contactless way to check temperatures. 

Automated temperature scanner prices often rely on the features provided and vary based on the device’s complexities. If you’re looking for a thermal scanner, be sure to find a device that has some of the features we list below. These key characteristics truly differentiate an average scanner from a great one. 

Related: Temperature Scanners For Your Business: Essential Hardware and Software

Temperature Scanner Key Differentiators

1. Auto-Detection: Wearing Of A Face Covering (mask)

Out of the scanners you’re considering, how many of them accurately read a temperature if someone is wearing a face mask? There are many popular scanners on the market that fail to mention this feature.

The thermal scanner we sell is the (V2 Pro Automated Temperature Scanner Kiosk) has auto-detection as an included feature. The V2 allows the administrator to enable or disable the facial covering feature so that an accurate temperature can be taken, with or without a face mask.

There is far less fear of spreading a virus by allowing users to keep their facial covering during their temperature reading.
2. A Contactless and Touchless Process

Unlike hand-held scanners, automated temperature scanners allow you to have your employees' temperature taken. At the same time, they stand at a safe distance to limit contact if anyone else is closely around. 

A touchless device ensures you’re adhering to social distancing guidelines while also giving you peace of mind. Imagine how comfortable your employees will feel, knowing they don’t have to be the ones to take someone’s temperature who could potentially be sick. Instead, they can rely on a contactless method.

3. The Number Of Temperature Check Points

Because many of these temperature screening devices are newer pieces of technology, many of us have difficulty trusting the accuracy. You want your employees and visitors safe, and you need a device that assesses as many checkpoints on a person’s face as possible.

Some of the more common temperature scanners have about 25-50 different checkpoints that scan a person’s face at once. However, why not find a device that can check for more?

As a reference, the V2 Pro measures 200 individual facial points of temperature checks, allowing an even better and more precise reading. This device’s temperature reading is performed in less than three seconds, perfect for entry points during high traffic times.

4. Materials Matter: Metal vs. Plastic

Choosing a metal temperature scanner instead of one made from plastic is a much better purchasing decision, especially when talking long-term.

Over time, plastic tends to break or crack, causing issues in the screen or even the scanner’s hardware. Although you may have to spend a little more money upfront on a metal temperature scanner, it’ll certainly save you money in the long run. 

You want your temperature scanner to last and not have to worry about replacing it each time it breaks. Living through this current pandemic, there is no time for downtime. What about the ability for it to work and last in the outdoor environment?

5. Multiple Notifications And Alerts 

An automated temperature scanner kiosk isn’t any good without audible alarms and alerts that immediately notify you when visitors report increased temperature or when not wearing their mask. 

It’s also great to look for a scanner that allows for easy integration with your network. Desktop notifications help keep track of anyone entering your building and if their temperature was elevated, allowing you to control the spread of a virus better.

Another hugely beneficial notification for businesses that have access control of doors and entry access points throughout their building is an Access Control System (ACS). You’ll know an excellent temperature scanner if it comes with the option to integrate your access control system.

An ACS notification guarantees that whoever is entering your building has been checked for an elevated temperature.

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The Final Say: Contactless Temperature Scanner Kiosks vs. Forehead Thermometers

There are so many new temperature scanning products hitting our market each day that it’s challenging to find the best one for your small business. Doing your research and figuring out your specific needs will only prepare you to make a well-educated purchase. 

AIS is an expert at technology solutions guaranteed to provide a seamless flow of business operations. We offer temperature scanning kiosks and screening systems to keep your workforce protected. To learn more about these and other technology solutions, reach out to us here. We’re here to give you peace of mind to help you win more business.

Dave Clark

Dave Clark is our VP of Strategic Sales, based out of our headquarters in Las Vegas, NV. He's had an illustrious 28-year career in business technology and continues to expand his knowledge on new and emerging office technology solutions. Dave is also the face of many of our videos we shoot and produce for our YouTube channel, The Copier Channel. Outside of work, you can find him hanging out with his two daughters and best friend Jak, his Jack Russell Terrier.