Smart building

What an entrance counter sensor can tell you

By monitoring the number of people entering and exiting a room or building, entrance counter sensors provide an easy way to measure how many people occupy a given space at a given time. Monitoring this room occupancy data provides business owners with invaluable insight into how their premises are used.
Entrance Counter(1)

Choosing the correct type of entrance counter sensor for your application can be challenging. Here, we’re taking a quick look at different types of entrance counter sensors, and some of the things you should bear in mind when selecting an entrance counter sensor for your business.

Types of entrance counter sensor

With more and more businesses realizing the advantages of entrance counter sensors, there is a vast range of different types of entrance counter sensors on the market. Each entrance counter sensor has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Break-beam sensors are probably the cheapest and most straightforward type of entrance counter sensor: positioned on either side of a doorway, these sensors detect when an object passes through a beam of infrared light. While cheap, these sensors cannot distinguish between humans and objects, and typically only work with monodirectional traffic.

Camera-based entrance counter sensors are another popular solution. These systems are usually highly accurate, making use of high-resolution cameras and advanced image-processing algorithms to reliably count people traveling in either direction. There are, however, some downsides: image processing is computationally intensive and often pricey, and capturing images of people introduces issues relating to privacy and data handling.

Thermal entrance counter sensors work on a similar basis to camera systems, but detect infrared heat signatures rather than visible light, sidestepping privacy issues and ensuring GDPR compliance. Thermal sensors are usually an expensive solution, and many require specialist installation and calibration.

Time-of-Flight (ToF) entrance counter sensors work on a fundamentally different basis to other entrance counter sensors. By emitting a pulse of invisible infrared light and measuring how long it takes for the pulse to reflect off the environment and return to the sensor, Time-of-Flight entrance counter sensors can sense their environment in 3D – in much the same way a bat uses echolocation. Thanks to their low spatial resolution, Time-of-Flight entrance counter sensors are fully GDPR compliant. While much cheaper than conventional thermal infrared sensors, ToF sensors are also capable of extremely high accuracy.

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Which entrance counter sensor is best for you?

When purchasing a new entrance counter sensor system, consider the following factors to ensure it’s well-suited to your application:

  • How wide is your entrance? All entrance counters have a limited field of view, which depends on the device itself and its positioning. Ensure your entrance counter sensor will provide full coverage of the doorway or walkway it’s monitoring.
  • Do people browse around the entrance? Simpler entrance counter sensors can produce inaccurate results in situations where people regularly move in and out of the field of view. If people tend to browse around your entrance, make sure that your entrance counter sensor can accurately track the paths of individuals rather than counting every person in its field of view.

Bidirectional vs. monodirectional traffic. Not all entrance counter sensors are well-suited to monitoring bidirectional traffic. However, if you have a one-way system, monodirectional sensors are typically much cheaper to implement.

Entrance counter sensors from Terabee

Terabee is an industry leader in low-cost, versatile and accurate entrance counter sensors. Our entrance counter sensors use Time-of-Flight technology to deliver over 95% accuracy even in low-light or crowded, bidirectional traffic.

Our flagship entry counter sensor is the People Counting L-XL. With a wide field of view suitable for most double doorways, the People Counting L-XL also features multi-device connectivity to monitor extra-wide entrances up to 15.4 m across.

Our People Counting M is optimized for single doorways and narrow entrances. Even more compact than the People Counting L-XL device, this versatile entrance counter sensor is designed for applications where other systems are cost-prohibitive.

Are you interested in finding out more about our entrance counter sensors? Get in touch with us today.

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