Although it’s a symptom for many things, higher than normal temperatures have recently been regarded as one of the signs of a potential COVID-19 infection. That has given rise to a surge in demand and the consequent lack in supply for no-contact thermal readers and scanners. Those devices have mostly been distributed to companies and public locations but Honor is putting that tool into people’s hands quite literally with its upcoming Honor Play 4 series.
The yet to be released smartphone doesn’t use any newly patented technology or hardware and, in fact, uses a component that has long been absent on most smartphones. It uses an infrared sensor, almost like the ones used inside TV remote controls, to detect heat. Infrared thermography, while not as accurate as thermometers, is less invasive and safer to use at a distance, which is perfect for these days.
The video acquired by Android Authority shows how easy it is to use this tool and resembles how thermal readers are being used today. You hold up the phone at a short distance from the other person’s forehead and you get a quick reading of their temperature. Neither person has to make body contact, reducing the risk of passing on the virus. Presumably, of course, both persons are wearing face masks, too.
It’s a useful utility that will undoubtedly come off as a bit gimmicky but Honor will definitely need those gimmicks, at least outside of China. Like its parent company, the phone maker’s inability to put Google Play apps on its latest phones has become an albatross around its neck. It might, however, not be enough to convince buyers in international markets.
Aside from the IR thermal scanner, the Honor Play 4 series is expected to use a Kirin 990 chip, enabling it to connect to 5G networks. There are also 4 cameras on the back whose sensors depend on the model. It isn’t yet known whether the IR sensor will be present on all three or if it’s reserved only for the Honor Play 4 Pro.