Is Anyone Buying All These Digital Covid-19 Devices? Apparently, Yes

August 14, 2020 by Dave Haynes

Since the pandemic hit, lockdowns started and companies in the digital signage ecosystem scrambled to remain relevant, I have wondered if the pandemic/back to business counter-measure technologies launched by seemingly dozens of companies were actually selling.

I’ve seen a bazillion PR and sell sheet pieces touting the devices – like thermal mirrors and screen/sanitizer dispenser thingies. I don’t think I have seen a single image of a real device in use by a business.

But I live outside a city, go to a mall about 1X a year, and live in a land that digital signage largely forgot … so these things may be everywhere in larger markets, and it is possible customers aren’t letting vendors make any hay.

All that stated, I was looking over the Q2 earnings call transcript for Creative Realities (bad quarter, but as it probably was for everyone) and the Q&A got in to that company’s version of a Thermal Mirror, which is a partnership with InReality.

Says CRI CEO Rick Mills:

And so we have a number of customers who were adopting the Thermal Mirror because of the Samsung relationship.

Finally, Samsung is actually our current customer of the Thermal Mirror and we announced in a press release earlier this year that, Samsung adopted it, and today has installed many units, 50 plus units across many of Samsung’s corporate facilities across America today.

Q: And then next question is, how many devices have we sold of the Thermal Mirror thus far?

Well, Mill says, we’ve shipped over 1,200 units, a thousand here in the U.S. We finally shipped 200 into Canada that got landed within the last week. Some of those reps distributors who are then selling them and shipping them every day.

So … one company’s experience is indicative of little, but we can say customers are indeed buying these things. 

  1. Ken Goldberg says:


    What do you figure the demand for temperature sensors will be in March, 2021? What will be the alternative use case for these temp sensors devices when they are no longer needed? Hand sanitizers clearly have use and life post-COVID (as they did pre-COVID), which is something most companies would consider before investing.

  2. From another manufacturer’s point of view; our sales during April and May had taken a sharp decline (due to the lockdown of most end users that our partners supply). However by June, once we had finished development and production of our hand sanisitser display and thermometer display, our sales had increased significantly on last year.

    We’ve also just started receiving a few photos back from these installs, so can confirm they are actually being used in the field!

  3. Ken, really good point. This is something we considered when developing our solution, it also has a facial recognition system built in for clocking in and out of building. We’re also looking into developing an addition to the software for visitor check in functionality. Completely agree that post-COVID value needs to be taken into account though!

  4. Tom McGowan says:

    The huge liability of implementing healthcare management protection and sensing devices is a barrier to entry for US public business and education sectors that I work with. For example, Loo toilet seat cover dispensers no longer have the imprint “provided for your safety by management”.
    The high possibility of false negative and false positive with thermal sensors, scanners, that may result in additional asymptomatic spread of sicknesses, and expose privacy issues associated with shaming and embarrassment when in a public facility. These systems are ripe for class-action lawyers. Remember we already tried Behavioral Tracking cameras with ad-serving kiosks and displays have real documented issues with accuracy of eye contact, facial recognition, child or adult, sex, and race detection. The only thing they ever get right is dwell time.
    Consider hand sanitizer spritzers that may be empty when offered to “protect” one’s health. Is that the fault of the organization that offered the product for use? Or worse, allergic reaction due to ingredients such as Methanol and perfumes. Make sure these types of products are safe for your children! Post policies and training with your sales reps unsubstantiated promises, or marketing implied safety claims made to your customers. We all see these every day with the avalanche of Chinese companies trying to sell us the “most bestest” sanitizers and thermal systems without a shred of pedigree. Talk to your lawyer before going into the highly regulated healthcare industry.

    This pandemic is not going away quickly, and we will be practicing enhanced safety protocols for 3-4 more years, definitely through 2024, or until there are 7 billion doses of vaccine deployed.
    Some of the products being developed show innovation that has been sadly lacking for decades. Its highly unlikely that net-new capital will be flowing in search of widely dispersed solutions, but new cogent features and enhancements that attach to existing systems are going to be golden.

    #maskup #coviddontcare

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