Smart building

Enhancing campus efficiency with Time-of-Flight people counting technology

Universities and higher education facilities face numerous challenges in managing their spaces efficiently. The need to optimize resource allocation, improve energy efficiency, enhance facilities management, and improve student experience has become paramount.
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People counting with Time-of-Flight (ToF) technology provides accurate data to monitor and analyze foot traffic.  With Time-of-Flight technology universities can make data-driven decisions, streamline operations, and create a more conducive learning environment. This article looks at how implementing people counting with Time-of-Flight technology in universities and higher education facilities brings resource savings, efficiencies and improves user experience.

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How does Time-of-Flight technology work?

With Time-of-Flight people counting technology, infrared sensors measure the time it takes for a light beam to bounce off an object and return to the sensor. This is used to measure the distance and movement of individuals in a given space. Time-of-Flight technology measures the distance between objects. It uses this information to determine the number of individuals passing through a specific area. Terabee people counters do not measure the height of the person coming into the area. Instead they relies on seeing points for head and shoulders to indicate a person has passed into or out of the area. 

Time-of-Flight technology, a non-intrusive solution

Time-of-Flight technology is non-intrusive and doesn’t gather personal videos or photos, in contrast to cameras or other sensors that may capture identifiable information. With ToF sensors, no personal identifiable information (PII) is ever collected or stored. People can move through the monitored area without fear of being tracked or monitored. People Counting solutions from Terabee only gather anonymous data and are fully GDPR compliant by design.

Accurate foot traffic data

Reliable foot traffic data is essential for universities to optimize facility use. Time-of-Flight technology employs advanced sensors to capture real-time data on the number of people in a particular area. This enables administrators to obtain accurate footfall counts, identify peak hours, and understand space utilization patterns. With this information, institutions can make informed decisions about resource allocation, such as adjusting staffing levels, optimizing classroom usage, and improving space planning.

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Space optimization for better use of resources

Universities may face challenges related to the amount of available space, especially in areas like libraries, study halls, and cafeterias. People counting which uses Time-of-Flight technology provides valuable data on occupancy rates, peak hours, and traffic patterns.  Administrators can make informed decisions on space planning, facility layouts, to ensure optimal allocation of resources. By identifying underutilized spaces, campus managers can repurpose them for more productive activities.

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Enhance energy efficiency

Improving energy consumption is a pressing concern for universities, to reduce their carbon footprint and lower operational costs. People counting systems based on ToF technology provide real-time occupancy data for rooms, lecture halls, and other facilities. This information enables informed decision-making and automated control of lighting, heating, and ventilation systems, via Building Management Systems, allowing universities to adjust energy use according to actual demand and significantly reduce waste.

Informed decision making

Time-of-Flight people counters generate a wealth of valuable data that can inform strategic decision making. By analyzing foot traffic patterns, universities can gain insights into student behavior, preferences and demand for facilities and services.

This data can be used to improve resource allocation, plan infrastructure developments, and make informed decisions about facility expansion or renovations. With data-driven decision making university campuses can align their operations and offerings with the evolving requirements of students and faculty.

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Improve traffic flow and accessibility

Overcrowding in corridors, entries and parking lots can disrupt the daily operations of universities. By installing anonymous, non-invasive Time-of-Flight people counting systems, institutions can gain insights into traffic flow patterns and identify bottlenecks. This data helps administrators to optimize access and foot traffic fow. Students and staff can navigate the campus more efficiently, and improve their overall experience.

Better user experience

Students’ daily on-site experiences impact their perception of an institution. People counting with Time-of-Flight technology can help universities to create positive, productive learning environments. By identifying peak hours and crowded areas, universities can take measures to manage traffic flow and reduce congestion, thereby enhancing the overall student experience. This can mean adjusting class schedules, ensuring sufficient access to facilities, or improved navigation through campus.

Occupancy monitoring with Time-of-Flight technology brings significant benefits for universities and higher education facilities. Accurate foot traffic analysis, enhanced safety and security, improved space optimization, and a better student experience are just a few of the benefits. By harnessing the power of Time-of-Flight technology, institutions can leverage data-driven insights to streamline operations, create more efficient campuses, and provide an environment conducive to learning and growth.

Contact us to speak to an expert about your people counting challenges and requirements. Get in touch to find out more!

If you would like to learn how to deploy people counting solutions in your facility, whether it’s a campus or another type of building, contact a member of the Terabee team today.

Further reading

Stec, V. Herrmann and B. Stabernack, Using Time-of-Flight Sensors for People Counting Applications, 2019 Conference on Design and Architectures for Signal and Image Processing (DASIP), Montreal, QC, Canada, 2019, pp. 59-64, doi: 10.1109/DASIP48288.2019.9049169.

Shoaib Azizi, Gireesh Nair, Ramtin Rabiee, Thomas Olofsson, Application of Internet of Things in academic buildings for space use efficiency using occupancy and booking data, Building and Environment, Volume 186, 2020, 107355, ISSN 0360-1323.

Giovanni Diraco, Alessandro Leone, Pietro Siciliano, People occupancy detection and profiling with 3D depth sensors for building energy management, Energy and Buildings, Volume 92, 2015, Pages 246-266, ISSN 0378-7788,

Related products

Terabee People Flow Counting L-XL

GDPR compliant people counting device. Optimize value and reduce costs from your retail operation, smart building or office space
Using advanced Time-of-Flight technology, Terabee People Flow Counting L-XL is GDPR compliant and provides accurate people counting data (98% accuracy or more) by monitoring the number of people entering and exiting doorways or corridors.

Easy to configure and install on high ceilings, the Terabee People Flow Counting L-XL fits any kind of wide indoor entrance, up to 15 meters in a multi-device setup. Our people counting algorithm is capable of filtering out static objects and counting multiple people passing in both directions below the device as they enter or leave a space.

The solution consists of an IoT people counting device and an optional IoT platform. Two product variations allow transmission of the data via Power over Ethernet or LoRaWAN. Interested? Contact us.

Terabee People Flow Counting M 2.0

Get real-time people counting data for single doorways and narrow corridors
Real-time data is the backbone of our modern, fast-paced world especially when it comes to monitoring space usage, occupancy, energy efficiency, security, building performance or tailored services. The Terabee People Flow Counting M 2.0 device is GDPR compliant by design, with a real-time data capability, providing seamless, accurate, and highly effective footfall measurement, at a competitive price.

Using Time-of-Flight technology, the People Flow Counting M 2.0 solution guarantees anonymity in its operations, prioritizing data privacy protection while offering robust, reliable occupancy monitoring.

People Flow Counting M 2.0 is the perfect addition to your Building Management System. The “smaller sibling” of People Flow Counting L-XL, People Flow Counting M 2.0 is designed for smaller doorways and narrow corridors. It comes in both Power over Ethernet (PoE) and LoRa models to best suit your needs.

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Power your People Flow Counting L-XL LoRa
This highly reliable and efficient power supply and 2.5-meter micro USB cable is the recommended accessory for the People Flow Counting L-XL device (LoRa model only). With its 5 changeable power sockets, including type A, C, and G, it’s compatible with all European and North American countries and many others. The micro USB cable can easily be replaced by a different one (not included) as required.

Power supply 5 V for Terabee People Counting M 2.0 PoE

Power supply 5 V for Terabee People Counting M 2.0 PoE
This highly reliable and efficient power supply is the recommended accessory for the People Counting M 2.0 device (PoE model only) when configured to transmit data through a Wi-Fi or a standard Ethernet network. It comes standard with a type C power cable compatible with most European countries and many others. This cable can easily be replaced by a different one (not included) as required.
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