Monitoring Indoor People Presence in Buildings Using Low-Cost Infrared Sensor Array in Doorways

Cristian Perra*, Amit Kumar, Michele Losito, Paolo Pirino, Milad Moradpour, Gianluca Gatto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


We propose a device for monitoring the number of people who are physically present inside indoor environments. The device performs local processing of infrared array sensor data detecting people’s direction, which allows monitoring users’ occupancy in any space of the building and also respects people privacy. The device implements a novel real-time pattern recognition algorithm for processing data sensed by a low-cost infrared (IR) array sensor. The computed information is transferred through a Z-Wave network. On-field evaluation of the algorithm has been conducted by placing the device on top of doorways in offices and laboratory rooms. To evaluate the performance of the algorithm in varying ambient temperatures, two groups of stress tests have been designed and performed. These tests established the detection limits linked to the difference between the average ambient temperature and perturbation. For an in-depth analysis of the accuracy of the algorithm, synthetic data have been generated considering temperature ranges typical of a residential environment, different human walking speeds (normal, brisk, running), and distance between the person and the sensor (1.5 m, 5 m, 7.5 m). The algorithm performed with high accuracy for routine human passage detection through a doorway, considering indoor ambient conditions of 21–30 °C.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4062
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number12
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 12. Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • IR sensor array
  • Pattern recognition
  • People counter
  • Z-Wave


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