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Local Company Rolls Out Facial Recognition, Fever Detection Technology To Help Businesses Screen Employees

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — As businesses begin to reopen in Los Angeles, a local company is rolling out advanced facial recognition and temperature screening technology to screen employees before they start their shifts.

Takeout, delivery, and curbside orders are keeping things going at Lemonade in Larchmont Village, but the restaurant has already taken steps to fully reopen with dine-in business.

"We're doing everything that we can to be prepared and be safe and welcome the community back," said Lemonade's Director of Operations Jesse Varela.

Some of those steps include social distancing tables in the dining rooms and providing PPE for all of their workers.

Employees are happy to be back at work after being furloughed, but now, before they put on their masks, they first have to show their faces and get cleared to start their shift.

Varela demonstrated how a facial recognition and fever-detection service called PopID works.

"They just stand in front of the tablet and it facial recognizes them, takes their temperature, and it says you have a good temperature, you're good to go, and then you're ready for work," said Varela. "If it is high, then the team member goes home."

Lemonade and other businesses are using the advanced biometric device to help reopen the economy by making it safer for workers to return to their jobs.

"There you go. It says thank you Jesse, you have a healthy temperature of 97.7," Varela said.

A Lemonade employee named Eric said the technology gives him peace of mind.

"Every time I come in, I do it, I'm like ready for work. And then at the end of the day, I do it again, it gives me that confidence that's very hard to get nowadays," he said.

According to public health experts, this technology violates people's privacy by exposing other health conditions they may have. They also warn it could create a false sense of security because some people who are screened may be asymptomatic.

"I think this is just one of those many steps that we take, so it's just another tool. It's not the tool, I think, but I think it is one of the tools we have to have in place to ensure everybody's safety," said Varela.

Varela said the device is providing employees and customers confidence and he's prepared to provide more safety measures if necessary.

"I'll be really excited when we see some folks back in the dining room," he said.

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