Funded by: SMACT scpa Competence Centre

Date: June 2020 – Dec. 2020

Grant: € 100.000

Partners: SMACT scpa Competence Centre, Human Inspired Technology (HIT) Research Centre (University of Padova), University of Padova. Omitech, UnionCamere Veneto, CCIAA PD

HTLab Involved People: Alice Bettelli, Gabriella Francesca Amalia Pernice, Valeria Orso, Luciano Gamberini

In response to the COVID-19 health emergency, there has been a rapid proliferation of systems for measuring the body temperature of citizens (e.g., workers, travelers, customers). Temperature measurement, an early symptom of COVID-19, holds a dual value at the entrance of shared spaces: on the one hand, it provides assurances to space managers regarding user protection and building integrity, and on the other hand, it grants newcomers a higher level of trust, an essential element for achieving a new “normality.”
The C-Sentinel project aimed to leverage this temperature monitoring infrastructure by collecting and aggregating the generated data. The system collauded was provided to institutions as a real-time and predictive tool for the territor. An interdisciplinary team of experts from diverse fields contributed to the project. This team encompassed Legal experts (providing legal insights on data monitoring, processing, and retention), Medical professionals (validating temperature collection through thermoscanners), Cybersecurity specialists (supporting the overall proposal’s feasibility), Statisticians (instrumental in data analysis), Psychologists (assessing the acceptability of proposed solutions and user experience), and Computer Scientists (establishing data correlations through algorithm development).

Within the project, HTLab aimed to investigate the effect of adopting remote temperature detection. HTLab mainly explored attitudes and behaviors towards a thermoscanner located at a public office in two different scenarios: a larger office accessible to employees and visitors and a smaller office exclusively for employees. To achieve this, data in the field were collected, including self-reported quantitative ratings (i.e., questionnaires) and behavioral observations. The level of acceptability and personal experience of end users with such technologies/services were assessed. It was considered their role to manage access to physical infrastructures and their role in the capacity to be persuasive technologies capable of discouraging improper access (e.g., individuals with fever). Additionally, the potential to use the data to define better the overall health situation in broad areas of the territory was explored. The study provided guidelines for implementing an efficient large-scale monitoring tool on the territory, promoting correct user behavior.


Bettelli, A., Orso, V., Pernice, G. F. A., Corradini, F., Fabbri, L., & Gamberini, L. (2021). Too hot to enter: Investigating users’ attitudes toward thermoscanners in COVID times. In Human-Computer Interaction. Design and User Experience Case Studies: Thematic Area, HCI 2021, Held as Part of the 23rd HCI International Conference, HCII 2021, Virtual Event, July 24–29, 2021, Proceedings, Part III 23 (pp. 239-252). Springer International Publishing.

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