Low-Cost Ocupancy Sensor Examined

By John Honovich, Published Oct 28, 2009, 08:00pm EDT

Lyrtech, an ObjectVideo partner has announced a reference design [link no longer available] that would embed ObjectVideo's analytics in a low-cost device that can perform people counting, wait time analysis and other detection based analysis.

Lyrtech will be offering this design to OEMs who can customize the overall solution. For an overview of the reference design see its technical specifications [link no longer available].

The design is designed in a dome form factor that enables ceiling mounting for indoor applications.

The reference design includes, "External Video Input NTSC/PAL, Imager sensor board, Multiplexer for the video input and composite Video Output." Using an on-board image sensor would likely be the most common approach.

This reference design does not have any video out for streaming or visual verification. It is possible as project.

According to Lyrtech, the solution can capture 8 images per second, processing the video for moving objects. Users can then set custom rules about the activity of those objects. Initial applications are for building management or for people counting.

Currently, no infrared illumination is supported so the unit is best used with indoor lighting.

Lyrtech reports that, "The estimated cost is 150$ a unit, for between 5000 and 10000 units a year. These numbers are estimated, the final price can change without notice."

With that cost, it is likely that end user price can be under $500 USD. This would enable a fairly low cost device compared to using video analytics on general purpose surveillance cameras (e.g., OV enabled Sarix cameras have a street price over $1200 USD). Of course, Lyrtech's pricing and design does no include video streaming so an important trade-off exists relative to surveillance cameras with video analytics.

On the other hand, this device will be positioned as an alternative to PIR/ultrasound dual technology sensors who also lack video and do not require it.

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