5 Key Benefits of People Counting & Occupancy Detection

5 Key Benefits of People Counting & Occupancy Detection

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According to new research, the People Counting Systems market is expected to grow from USD $818 million in 2020 to USD $1.3B by 2025. This is no surprise, as concerns continue to rise for  safety and security at public places from retail and offices to sports venues and hospitality. Advanced people counting and occupancy detection solutions provide instrumental data on the foot traffic entering and exiting buildings as well as density and dwell time in common areas like line ups, elevators, waiting rooms and bathrooms. With this information, business and building owners can detect hot spots and control environmental conditions to provide a safer and more comfortable experience for tenants, visitors and employees.

5 Key Benefits of People Counting & Occupancy Detection

1. Ensure Social Distancing Practices

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are required to enforce new restrictions on the number of visitors in their space to ensure compliance with government social distancing regulations. People counting systems can help track the number of people entering or exiting any given space in real-time and alert owners when their capacity threshold has been met.

2. Streamline Janitorial Services

With health and wellness top of mind, maintaining a regular disinfection and cleaning routine is paramount. People counting data combined with presence detection data can pinpoint areas that are frequently used and those that are not. Janitorial staff can then use this information to work more efficiently and ensure cleaning practices are carried out when needed.   

3. Improve Energy Efficiency & Comfort

Understanding the occupancy levels and traffic patterns of each space can also help improve energy efficiency. Owners might want to turn down the temperature in an area when capacity is full to maximize occupant comfort. On the other hand, they can also use this data to optimize HVAC when spaces are not being occupied, helping reduce energy costs and improve sustainability.

4. Enhance Indoor Air Quality

Good levels of indoor air quality (IAQ) can improve the health, comfort, and well-being of building occupants and reduce risks of developing respiratory illness. Coupling critical environmental index data like Co2 levels with traffic density information, business or building owners can configure ventilation requirements applicably to reduce the risk of airborne transmission, illness and sick leave.

5. Deliver Additional Security

Presence detection sensors can also provide real-time data on where people are in the event of an emergency such as a fire, intrusion or other safety threats to ensure timely help and rescue efforts.

Types of People Counting and Occupancy Sensors

1. Passive Infrared

The most common occupancy sensors are simple and inexpensive motion detection sensors that use passive infrared technology. The challenge with this solution is that unless the occupant generates a large movement, data does not capture the presence of the individual. For example, if someone is sitting at a desk working, these motion sensors will not know if the occupant is present or not unless they get up and start moving. This kind of sensor will also only indicate if a zone is occupied not how many people are in it.        

2. Microwave

Microwave sensors pulses and measures the reflections off of moving objects. They cover a larger area than infrared sensors but are much more expensive and vulnerable to electrical interference.

3. Ultrasonic

Another common occupancy sensor is an ultrasonic sensor, which emits high-frequency sound waves, outside of human hearing range, and use the doppler effect of returning sounds waves to detect people. The issue with these sensors is that they often pick up other microsounds like fans, refrigerator motors or even footsteps in the distance, which can cause can cause inaccurate readings.

4. Radar

Radar-based people counting sensors, count people by collecting “average body motion value” per person in a given zone (not just a doorway) based on pre-calibrated factor index. This kind of sensor does not use cameras, microphones or identification systems, ensuring individual privacy and security. It is also not impacted by lighting conditions, which allows detection in power outages or in case of a smoke from a fire. On the other hand, radar-based occupancy detection sensors monitor occupants’ respiration and heart beating micro-vibration patterns. With continuous scanning of human vital signs, true presence, vacancy and dwell time can be determined within seconds and with 99.9% accuracy.  

More and more businesses and organizations are growing increasingly conscious of building inefficiencies and wasted costs. With mounting concerns about energy consumption, health and wellness, and occupants’ user experience, incorporating people counting and presence detection solutions into facilities management can significantly improve the performance and utility of buildings across all industries.

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