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Innovation in adversity

There has been a common thread throughout many coronavirus-related conversations I have had over the past few months – the print and IT channel is both resilient and innovative. Rather than simply playing it safe, many business leaders have been eyeing up opportunity during the COVID-19 pandemic

Italian philosopher Nicolò Machiavelli famously said: “Never waste the opportunities offered by a good crisis.” Print industry veteran Simon Chapman is a case in point, he chose to use the crisis to drive innovation. Lockdown saw him set up a new company – Fever Detect – and develop and bring an innovative new solution to market in a matter of months.

Chapman said that working from home provided him with time to think about what else he could do. He had recently expanded his 34-year old printer repairs, sales and maintenance services company, hiring a new sales team and with new wins thin on the ground, he needed to find them something to sell.

“I am a firm believer that every challenge presents an opportunity,” he said. “I identified opportunity within a solution that would help individuals safely resume ‘near normal’ life and importantly, help businesses get back to doing business, by checking peoples’ temperatures before they entered a building. I did some research but found existing solutions lacking and so made the decision to create something from scratch.”

Chapman worked with a development team to create a product that he named Fever Detect. It’s available in two variants – Essential and Premium.

Fever Detect
Fever Detect

Easy to use and effective
Fever Detect Essential is designed to monitor the temperature of employees and visitors, helping mitigate and monitor the risk of spreading COVID-19. It features a built in thermal measurement camera which quickly detects body temperature with a high level of accuracy up to ± 0.3°C. A red alarm and light indicates fever, whilst a green light indicates normal temperature.

According to Chapman, Fever Detect is easy to use and effective. “Fever Detect Essential is contactless making it non-intrusive for people to use. It has a detection distance of around one metre and measurements are taken in one second.”

Chapman recognised that the Essential variant is hugely popular now,but in the longer-term demand may well dry up, which is why he developed a second Premium variant which combines the ability to measure skin temperature and detect potential fever with more advanced built in people management software.

“The Premium model is essentially a sophisticated people management system. With many organisations operating in new ways, staggering the traditional nine to five model and bringing a new hybrid working environment on board where employees will be combining office- and home-based working, this provides quick insight over who is onsite at any one time,” Chapman explained, adding: “It could even replace legacy, unsophisticated time management systems where employees are required to clock in and out, for example.”

Additional functionality
This element, Chapman says has longevity. “While the temperature checking element will be critical for some time to come, it is the additional functionality that will make this a long-term investment for many companies. We are selling five times the number of this model.”

Premium also works with door entry systems so it literally could be adopted in any setting. “If you take a gym for example, facial recognition can rapidly match the image with the members’ card and their member status for example.”

Both models can also highlight if individuals are wearing masks and in environments where this is mandatory, non-compliance will trigger an alarm.

Margin opportunity
In the two months since launch, Fever Detect which features a sleek design and comes in wall mounted, free standing or counter/desktop variants to suit any workspace has quite literally flown out the door. “Demand has been fantastic, one of our customers was trying to get 250 employees back to work safely, they were using a thermometer and were struggling with the time and manual resources required. More importantly they wanted to eliminate the risk of a huge queue forming. They installed Fever Detect, and are now completing all checks five times faster, plus there is no need to dedicate staff to manage the process as it’s all done automatically.”

Chapman is now looking to onboard dealers who are interested in offering their customers this new value-add solution. “Fever Detect provides a fantastic opportunity to change the conversation with existing customers as well as open up new prospects. Purchasing options are flexible, it can be sold outright or via leasing – the Essential variant for example can be installed on a customers’ site for about £15 per week. Margins are really generous – it’s possible to achieve 100 per cent on the Premium model,” he concluded.

Interested dealerships can contact