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Shanghai lockdowns increase market for invasive medical surveillance tech

A security company expects a big uptick in sales.

The South China Morning Post interviewed experts who believe there could now be a big market for facial recognition cameras to “detect signs of COVID-19.”

Related: WeChat censors elderly Shanghai man’s lockdown pleas for medical help

The news outlet cited a report by Everbright Securities that claimed that about 2 million devices for detecting infection and confirming vaccination and test results could be put in public venues like entertainment venues, hospitals, office buildings and shopping centers.

Everbright estimated that the market to be about 50 billion yuan ($7.5), with market leaders like Hikvision and SenseTime expected to leverage the opportunities. Another player in the surveillance market, Telpo, already makes facial recognition technology that can check the temperatures of multiple people.

The paper quoted Wang Feng, a financial services expert, saying: “The market potential here cannot be matched anywhere else in the world, because these smart devices will be widely used in big cities to meet stringent virus control rules. Operators of shopping malls and cinemas will buy the machines to improve efficiency of their verification processes.”

The facial biometrics device would, in theory, check test results, vaccination status, and recent movements before allowing someone to enter a certain venue. Everbright said that each device would cost between 2,000 and 10,000 yuan ($300 to $1,500).

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