Smart building

Time-of-Flight people counters: how accuracy is measured

Time-of-Flight (ToF) people counters are advanced devices that use infrared technology to count and measure the movement of individuals within a defined space. Widely used in various applications such as retail analytics, commercial real estate management, and smart buildings, these systems offer accurate and real-time data on foot traffic.
people counting accuracy

Ensuring counting accuracy is of utmost importance to derive meaningful insights and make informed decisions based on the collected data.

In this article, we will explore how counting accuracy is measured with Time-of-Flight people counters, drawing from reputable sources to provide reliable information.

Non Camera Time Of Flight Anonymous People Counting

Principles of Time-of-Flight people counters

Time-of-Flight people counters work on the principle of emitting short bursts of infrared light and measuring the time it takes for the light to return after hitting an object (a person in this case).

By calculating the time taken and applying formulas, the distance between the sensor and the object can be determined accurately. Typically, these sensors are installed at entrances, exits, or designated areas to capture people’s movements as they enter or leave a location.

Optimizing counting accuracy

Sensor placement
Terabee People Counting sensors rely on specific factors for optimal performance. Proper positioning of the sensor to ensure an unobstructed view of the monitored area is crucial. By ensuring minimal blind spots and maximal coverage, you can optimize the placement. To achieve this, consult the device user manual for guidance on proper device orientation and placement.

Impact of sunlight
Consider the impact of sunlight exposure on the Terabee People Counting sensors. The Time-of-Flight technology they employ uses infrared light, which partially overlaps with sunlight radiation. This overlap can affect the device’s functionality. To prevent any issues, Terabee recommends installing the device indoors to prevent the sun’s reflection from falling on people’s heads and shoulders. If indoor installation isn’t feasible, you can consider the following steps:

  • Adjust the installation height to reduce the direct sunlight’s effect on the device’s field of view.
  • Place non-reflective flooring in areas where sunlight reaches the ground.

Infrared sources
Take care when dealing with obstacles and external infrared sources, for example, avoid positioning people counting devices above ‘Exit’ signs or obstructions that could hinder the field of view or introduce interference.

In rare instances, other infrared sources like automatic door sensors or security cameras might impact the device’s functionality. If unusual counts or distorted infrared images occur (black pixels), relocate the device and verify if the issue persists.

Measuring counting accuracy

To assess the counting accuracy of Time-of-Flight people counters, manufacturers and researchers conduct validation studies. During these studies, controlled experiments are designed with known numbers of people passing through the sensor’s field of view. The actual count is then compared with the system’s recorded count to determine the accuracy level. To evaluate counting accuracy of Terabee Time-of-Flight people counters, various methodologies are employed:

Controlled testing
This is one of the most reliable methods and it involves creating a controlled environment. Terabee experts manually count individuals passing through the sensor’s field of view and compare it with the system’s output.

Real-life use case accuracy testing
In order to validate counting accuracy in real-world scenarios, Terabee ToF people counters are deployed in multiple live environments which cover most use cases. The system’s performance is compared against manual counts or data from other counting methods.

Terabee People Counting Accuracy Test Report 500 X 300
GDPR compliant sensors

Time-of-Flight people counters from Terabee

Terabee people counters are designed to be accurate, reliable, and easy to install. The sensors use advanced algorithms to filter out false readings and noise. They provide accurate counting in a variety of settings. All data is fully anonymous, privacy-respecting and GDPR-compliant.

Terabee’s people counting devices are designed to be 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.

With its ability to aggregate data taken from up to five separate sensors, the Terabee People 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 Counting M LoRa device is suitable for standard doors and narrow corridors, such as in meeting rooms and washrooms.

Contact us if you’d like a copy of the Terabee People Counting Accuracy test report. 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.
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