Terrible Convergint Coronavirus Thermal Camera RecommendationBy: John Honovich, Published on Apr 01, 2020
A week after Convergint disclosed falling revenue, pay and job cuts, Convergint is touting 'extensive research' that is either grossly incompetent or malicious.
If you are a Convergint customer looking at premium solutions, be very concerned. More broadly, this shows that the 'infection' of coronavirus misinformation is spreading fast through the security industry.
Inside this note, we break down the very obvious errors and issues in Convergint's recommendations.
Fiction, Not Fact
On March 31st, Convergint published 'Fact Vs Fiction' emphasizing that "Convergint’s Advanced Solutions Team has conducted extensive research" into this area.
The fact is that there is little to no research yet significant fiction presented.
Convergint is recommending Invid, describing it as such:
Headquartered in New York, InVid Tech has released a body temperature measurement solution to help provide early detection of symptoms. The InVid Tech solution can accurately read the temperatures of 16 people simultaneously per second. The system can be customized to alert when anyone passes through who has a temperature above the threshold set.
Contrast to how InVid describes their offering:
InVid Tech has released a Dual Spectrum Camera System to measure the temperature of objects, humans, or animals. The system can accurately read the temperatures of 16 people simultaneously, per second with an accuracy of <0.54 Degrees F. You can customize the system to alert you when anyone passes through whose temperature is above the threshold set.
Convergint's "research" consists of paraphrasing InVid's own website. That would be poor for a 12-year-old much less the "advanced solutions team" of a billion-dollar company.
Not NY, China
Convergint deceptively leads with:
Headquartered in New York, InVid Tech
But InVid is just relabelling China Sunell's offering.
This product is absolutely from China and InVid is little more than relabelling and marketing this.
There are 2 possible explanations for this:
- Convergint literally does not know and it means they are grossly incompetent.
- Convergint does know this and is trying to deceive customers of its true source.
InVid, up until the last month, has mainly existed as an outlet to pass China goods to trunkslammers and low-end buyers. On the video side, e.g., they OEM TVT and violate US law by not showing the country of origin.
That is a problem but an endorsement from Convergint is a far bigger one. Convergint has bought its way to being one of the largest integrators in the country working with scores of major corporations and critical infrastructure.
16 People Per Second Claim
Equally troubling, Convergint literally copies and pastes InVid's fictional accuracy claim:
The InVid Tech solution can accurately read the temperatures of 16 people simultaneously per second
While there is a flood on ongoing fictional thermal temperature claims this might be the silliest. Think about it. 16 people per second means people are either running through the camera's FoV or have a super-wide FoV. Both of which are obviously impossible.
More broadly, people moving inherently lowers the probability of getting accurate temperature readings as it results in fewer chances to get a direct capture of the person's forehead / eyes.
But this fiction serves the point of making this seem especially high tech.
[UPDATE May 2020: IPVM has tested the Sunell / Invid System.]
Read The Manual
Reading the manual shows it is anything but high tech. The InVid / Sunell device requires enabling ActiveX controls as its own manual shows:
In 2020, Convergint is recommending a product that requires highly insecure ActiveX controls.
Plus, the device has a default password and does not force setting one's own password:
Both violate California law and fundamental IT practices in 2020.
Maybe this does not matter to trunk slammers, InVid's core market, but this should matter to Convergint.
FDA Not Approved
Convergint does bring up FDA approval, saying:
There are only a few FDA-approved, temperature-sensing thermal cameras and software solutions available in the market today
But Convergint than fails to note that InVid / Sunell is not FDA approved nor cleared. And the FDA has told IPVM that these types of devices do need FDA clearance.
Problem For Convergint and For Industry
Convergint likes to talk about being their "customers’ best service provider." They are certainly not here.
Convergint, like many integrators, is struggling to generate sales. But the more that major companies like Convergint, who should know better, go down this path the more this will harm the industry and its customers.
UPDATE May 15 - Convergint Publishes Coronavirus Camera Update
While Convergint has not corrected their original article marketing InVid, etc., Convergint has published a new post (COVID-19 Update: Considerations for Thermal Camera Accuracy) contradicting and adopting a far more conservative approach. Contrary to the original and still stated, "The InVid Tech solution can accurately read the temperatures of 16 people simultaneously per second," Convergint now recommends:
Have the person remove glasses, hats, or anything else shielding their face
The space needs to be reorganized with clear pathways that allow social distancing and time to acclimate the skin from outside conditions. An example of this is to queue people like an amusement park ride with appropriate spacing.
The new Convergint post concludes:
Convergint continues to caution companies about diving into products that could have false camera accuracy claims, untrustworthy sourcing, or falsified marketing materials.
Ironically, Convergint is describing their original post, still not corrected.