Smart building

How non-camera technology ensures privacy while counting people

Counting the number of people in a space is essential for businesses and organizations to ensure a comfortable environment, to optimize resources and improve facilities management and customer service.

However, privacy concerns arise when using traditional people counting methods, such as cameras or manual counting, as they may intrude on individuals’ privacy or private data. To address this issue, many companies use people counters than operate with Time-of-Flight technology or the latest thermal technology, which are both non-camera based and only collect anonymous data.

Let’s look at these two technology options.

Terabee Time Of Flight People Counting Anonymous Privacy Data

First, what is Time-of-Flight Technology?

Time-of-Flight (ToF) is a sensing technique that measures the time taken by light or sound to travel a distance between a sensor and an object. In a people counting application, a ToF sensor emits a beam of light, which bounces off people and returns to the sensor.

By calculating the time taken for the light to travel back and forth, the sensor can determine the distance between itself and the people. By using multiple sensors, the system can also estimate the location and direction of movement of each person.Terabee Time-of-Flight people counters are designed for accuracy.

Read more about the basics on Time-of-Flight sensing in this article.

How does Time-of-Flight technology ensure privacy?

Time-of-Flight technology is non-intrusive and non-invasive as it does not use cameras or any other device that captures images or sounds. Instead, it only measures the distance between the sensor and people, which is not personally identifiable information. The system does not collect any other data, such as facial features, clothing, or voice, that can identify individuals. Furthermore, the data collected is anonymous and aggregated, meaning that it cannot be traced back to any individual. It is fully GDPR compliant.

What is thermal infrared technology?

Thermal occupancy sensors, such as the Terabee People Occupancy Counting device, use the latest thermal imaging technology to detect human presence and count occupants within spaces as small as 8 m x 8 m. These sensors rely on infrared radiation emitted by individuals, providing a non-intrusive, highly precise method of occupancy detection. With this technology, spaces can be optimized for maximum efficiency, allowing for better resource allocation and energy management.

Utilizing advanced thermal imaging, this sensor offers real-time, high-precision occupancy monitoring. With its compact design and easy installation, it seamlessly integrates into various environments, from offices and retail spaces to residential areas, enhancing space management capabilities. The device can focus on multiple regions of interest, up to eight, to monitor or exclude specific areas.

Terabee thermal sensing

How does thermal people counting ensure GDPR compliance and respect personal privacy?

Unlike non-GDPR compliant technologies that may rely on facial recognition or other intrusive methods, thermal people counters prioritize privacy. By solely looking at thermal signatures, these counters avoid capturing personally identifiable information (PII). This ensures compliance with privacy regulations and also fosters a more transparent and ethical approach to space occupancy counting.

Why is camera-based people counting not anonymous?

Camera-based people counting technology captures images or videos of people, which can reveal their identity, facial features, clothing, and behavior. This data can be used to identify individuals or track their movements, which raises privacy concerns. Even if the data is anonymized, it can still be re-identified by cross-referencing it with other data sources or using AI algorithms. Additionally, camera-based systems require higher processing power and storage capacity, which can be costly and raise cybersecurity risks.

In conclusion,Time-of-Flight technology and thermal technology for people counters provide privacy-friendly solutions for accurate people counting data, as both technologies are non-intrusive, non-invasive and anonymous. People counters from Terabee, which use either Time-of-Flight or thermal technology, enable businesses and organizations to collect valuable building occupancy data for effective management of office space, facilities and heating related services, while respecting individuals’ privacy and complying with data protection regulations.

Terabee people counting sensors

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.

Terabee’s People Occupancy Counting sensor stands out for its cutting-edge features. Using advanced thermal imaging, this sensor offers real-time, high-precision occupancy monitoring. With its compact design and easy installation, it seamlessly integrates into various environments, from offices and retail spaces, to enhance space management capabilities.

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Tailor your people counting solution and system according to your requirements. Contact us to speak to an expert about your people counting challenges and requirements. 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.

Terabee People Occupancy Counting

Get accurate occupancy data to maximize the management of meeting rooms and large spaces
Introducing state-of-the-art thermal GDPR-by-design People Occupancy Counting solution, designed to accurately detect and count individuals in any environment, from meeting rooms to large open-plan areas.

Leveraging advanced thermal imaging technology, the Terabee People Occupancy Counting ensures precise occupancy tracking in all light conditions. Ideal for fine-tuning energy management, optimizing space utilization, and automating building operations, it's the next-generation solution for modern space management.
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