Smart building

Enhancing privacy and building efficiency: the advantages of Time-of-Flight people counting

In today's data-driven world, the quest for greater efficiency and increased privacy protection is driving technological advancements. One such technology that has gained momentum is Time-of-Flight people counting.
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This non-intrusive technology utilizes light signals to respect personal privacy while providing accurate and valuable data for optimizing space utilization and energy efficiency in buildings. This article examines how Time-of-Flight (ToF) people counting excels in safeguarding privacy, outperforms camera-based alternatives, measures counting accuracy, and empowers building managers to improve space utilization and energy efficiency.

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Respecting personal privacy and GDPR compliance

Personal privacy and data protection are paramount concerns in the digital age. ToF people counting technology ensures privacy by using infrared light to detect human presence without capturing or storing personal identifiable information (PII).

Unlike camera-based systems that can record images and potentially invade privacy, ToF sensors capture only depth information, rendering the identification of individuals impossible. As a result, ToF people counting fully complies with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other similar data protection laws globally, reassuring occupants that their privacy remains intact.

Superiority over camera-based people counting and PII gathering technologies

Traditional camera-based people counting systems may be effective in tracking individuals, but they come with significant drawbacks concerning privacy and accuracy. Cameras can inadvertently capture sensitive information, leading to privacy breaches and potential misuse of data. In contrast, ToF people counting eliminates this risk, ensuring anonymity while delivering precise occupancy data.

Additionally, ToF people counting surpasses other technologies that rely on personal information, such as Wi-Fi tracking or Bluetooth beacons. These technologies often require individuals to enable their devices’ tracking features, resulting in limited data accuracy due to opt-in limitations. ToF, on the other hand, remains unobtrusive and requires no action from the occupants, providing comprehensive and unbiased occupancy data.

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Measuring counting accuracy of ToF people counters

The accuracy of any people counting system is critical for making informed decisions. ToF people counters leverage advanced depth-sensing technology to detect the presence and movement of people with remarkable precision. The system works by emitting light signals and measuring the time it takes for the signals to bounce back after hitting objects, including humans. The data obtained from these reflections enable the system to identify the number of individuals, their movement patterns, and duration within a defined area.

To evaluate the accuracy of ToF people counting systems, various metrics are considered, including:

  • Counting accuracy: this measures how well the system detects and counts people accurately, providing real-time and reliable occupancy data.
  • Multi-person tracking accuracy: this evaluates the system’s capability to differentiate and track multiple individuals moving simultaneously within the same space.
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Use of people counting data for enhanced space utilization and energy efficiency gains

The data obtained from ToF people counting opens up numerous opportunities to enhance space utilization and energy efficiency in buildings:

  • Optimized space allocation: With accurate occupancy data, building managers can identify underutilized spaces and optimize the allocation of resources accordingly, ensuring space is efficiently utilized.
  • Improved facility management: ToF people counting data provides insights into peak and off-peak periods, enabling facility managers to adjust cleaning schedules, temperature control, and lighting to save energy and reduce operating costs.
  • Demand-based resource allocation: Understanding occupancy patterns allows building managers to deploy resources such as heating, cooling, and lighting based on actual demand, minimizing energy wastage.

Time-of-Flight people counting emerges as a robust solution for gathering accurate, anonymous people flow data in buildings. By avoiding the capture of personal identifiable information, ToF technology aligns with GDPR regulations while outperforming camera-based systems and PII gathering technologies. Its precise counting accuracy and non-intrusive nature make it a reliable tool for enhancing space utilization and energy efficiency, thereby shaping the future of smart and sustainable buildings.

Time-of-Flight people counters from Terabee

Terabee is a leading provider of people counter technology that use Time-of-Flight sensors. The company’s sensors are designed to be accurate, reliable, and easy to install. The sensors use advanced algorithms to filter out false readings and noise and provide accurate counting in a variety of settings. All data is fully anonymous, privacy-respecting and GDPR-compliant.

Terabee’s people counting devices are highly adaptable and can be used in a variety of settings, including space and flow monitoring in commercial real estate settings, operations optimization in company canteens and staff dining rooms, and smart university campuses.

Terabee People Flow Counting devices

With its ability to aggregate data taken from up to five separate sensors, the Terabee People Flow  Counting L-XL device offers easy installation and configuration. It is a highly accurate solution to gather data on people flow at large doors, entrances and indoor gates, such as auditoriums and large theatres. Its smaller sibling, the Terabee People Flow Counting M 2.0 LoRa device is suitable for standard doors and narrow corridors, such as in meeting rooms and washrooms.

Speak to an expert about your people counting challenges and requirements, request a quote or get a product demo. Get in touch today!

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.

Recess Mounting Kit XL for the Terabee People Flow Counting L-XL

Take advantage of this stylish, design element for people counter installations
Give your people counting device installations a seamless look. Ensure that the people counter stays discreet and enhances your architecture and decor.

Choose the Recess Mounting Kit XL for the Terabee People Flow Counting L-XL device.

Recess Mounting Kit M for the People Flow Counting M 2.0 and People Occupancy Counting

Get this design accessory for people counter installations
Give your people counting device installations a stylish finish that enhances your architecture.

Install the Recess Mounting Kit M for the Terabee People Flow Counting M 2.0 and the Terabee People Occupancy Counting devices.

Power supply 5 V for Terabee People Flow Counting L-XL LoRa

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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