AI Thermography Case Studies Goethe-Institut Tokyo

Goethe-Institut Tokyoイメージ


As we prepare to resume full-scale activities, we are very satisfied with “SenseThunder-Mini” for its effectiveness to prevent potential infection spreads.

Goethe-Institut Tokyo

Goethe-Institut is an official cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany promoting German language education and encouraging international cooperation in arts and culture in Japan. Its Tokyo Office is located in Akasaka.

In reaction to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the institute in Tokyo quickly shifted to delivering classes online, but has been proactively preparing preventive measures against the infection in order to resume full-scale offline activities. Today, we interviewed Ms. Johanna Balaskas, Head of Administration at the Goethe-Institut Tokyo, behind the decision to deploy AI Thermography System “SenseThunder-Mini.”

Goethe-Institut Tokyo


  • Satisfied with SenseThunder for its effectiveness to prevent potential infection spreads
  • Implement temperature screening based on the government announcement of new lifestyle practices
  • The only solution that meets all the requirements in speed, accuracy, price and delivery service

Based on the government announcement of new lifestyle practices, we have determined that implementing temperature measurement for all visitors would be effective in preventing infection.

Could you please shortly introduce us into the activities of the Goethe-Institut?

The Goethe-Institut is the cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany with 157 locations in 98 countries. The main activities are promoting the study of the German language abroad and support international cultural cooperation worldwide.

We set internationally recognized standards in the teaching and learning of German as a foreign language worldwide. It compiles teaching materials, trains teachers, contributes to scientific research and participates in language policy initiatives. The Goethe-Institut monitors trends in Germany and encourages cultural collaboration across the globe by organizing programs in arts and culture. We also coproduce in the field of the performing arts and we foster the dialogue between the civil societies. Libraries and information centres, forums for discussion, diverse publications and our visitors' service aim to reflect a contemporary portrait of Germany in its cultural, social and political life, promoting international discourse on global issues.

Since when is the Goethe-Institut operating in Tokyo and how many visitors do you have annually?

We have been operating our activities in Tokyo since 1962. We have a hall, classrooms and a library. We offer diverse language courses referring to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), also those for business clients as well as individual- and small group lessons. We have approximately 1,500 participants at our language courses for 7,000 hours, as well as 10,200 visitors for our cultural events including projects outside our own premises organized with our partner institutions in Japan and 9,400 in our library per year.

What kind of challenges have you been confronted with since the outbreak of COVID-19 and how did you handle them?

Between February and March, we had to cancel public programs hosted in the building, closed the library, and moved all German language courses to online classes. The building itself was shut down in April due to the declaration of state of emergency. We have decided on resuming small-scale, face-to-face classes started from June 1st after the state of emergency has been lifted. Based on the examples of the new lifestyle announced by the Japanese government, we decided to take additional measures with temperature measurement to best prevent the infection spreads, in addition to maintaining social distance and installing partitions in the building.

"SenseThunder-Mini" installed at the reception area on the ground floor
(*"SenseThunder-E" test model was installed at the time of the photoshoot)

We found that "SenseThunder-Mini" was the only solution that met all the requirements in speed, accuracy, price and delivery service.

Once the Goethe-Institut opened again in June for its restricted services you decided to install "SenseThunder-Mini." Why have you chosen our product?

At first we looked at gun-type thermometer, but the image of pointing such thermometer at a person's forehead seems rather impolite. We found that "SenseThunder-Mini" was the only solution that met all the requirements in speed, accuracy, price and delivery service. Just simply stand in front of it and it would perform temperature detection instantly, even when you are wearing face masks. It is also easy to operate and maintain. Moreover, the fact that the system was adopted by several government bureau in Japan contributed to the final decision.

So, we are happy that we obviously did the right thing at the right time.

What do you think of the importance of temperature measurement in the post-corona era? Please share some outlook for the future.

We expect the spread of COVID-19 will have a prolonged effect to a certain extent. In such circumstance we believe it is important to take preventive measures seriously in order to resume participations in cultural programs, German language courses, and library service in a safe and secure environment. In this case, "SenseThunder-Mini" has proven to be highly effective at a reasonable cost and we are very satisfied with it. We are hoping for a gradual return of visitors in the future.

Ms. Johanna Balaskas, who has stayed in Japan for one year now, we respect her determination and precision to take appropriate measures speedily during this unstable times in an unfamiliar place. Thank you very much for your kind cooperation.


Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

About Japan Computer Vision (Known as JCV)

Japan Computer Vision Corp., a subsidiary of Softbank Corp., is an AI company that leverages image recognition technology to provide cutting-edge solutions for the smart building and smart retail sectors.