What Is a Motion Sensor and How Does It Work

What is a Motion Sensor?

Motion sensors detect the presence of people in a room and are usually used to understand where and when space in a building is used. Building and workplace managers can use this data to predict and manage building space utilization. They can use it to adjust heating, cooling, and other services accordingly to save energy, lower costs, and make better use of space.

How does a Motion Sensor work?

motion sensor

Also known as passive infrared (PIR) sensors, a motion sensor is an electronic device that detects the movement of an object anywhere within its field of view by measuring the infrared (IR) light emitted from or reflected by that object.

Motion sensors typically detect movement using a pyroelectric sensor with two photoactive diode areas to convert infrared light emanating from an object into an electrical charge. With a pair of pyroelectric sensors located next to each other, any changes in the signal differential between the two sensors, caused, for example, by a person entering a room, will cause the motion sensor to activate.

This physical design, with four photoactive diode areas, improves accuracy and performance and minimizes false alarms.

State-of-the-art motion sensors support Internet connectivity. The data should be easily and flexibly integrated into IoT software platforms that combine occupancy data with data from other sensors, such as temperature sensors, to create more comprehensive building intelligence.

The Disruptive Technologies Wireless Motion Sensor

Our wireless motion sensor is the perfect companion to our desk occupancy sensor. Workplace managers can combine the two data sets—desk occupancy and room occupancy—to understand workplace usage and ensure the right number of desks and meeting rooms as part of their workplace optimization strategy. 

At Disruptive Technologies, we use quad-element technology for our wireless motion sensor. It is usually mounted on the ceiling and has a detection range of up to 14 meters (46 feet) with a 360° field of view. Other features and benefits include: 

  • Long wireless range: 100 m (330 ft) in a typical indoor environment
  • 15-year battery life: Minimal maintenance and reliability over time
  • Plug-and-play connectivity: Instant data transfer the Cloud via our Cloud Connector, and SecureDataShot™
  • Peel-and-stick installation: No pairing or commissioning
  • Anonymous and discrete: Captures occupancy data without unique identifiers 

How are Motion Sensors used? 

Motion Sensor Connected to DT Studio
Motion Sensor connected to DT Studio

As a result of changes in working patterns and increasing real estate prices, measuring room occupancy and optimizing available space is becoming a primary concern. Businesses that invest in motion sensor technology for understanding space occupancy benefit from the following: 

  • Efficient resource allocation

Measuring room occupancy answers questions such as, "Which offices or locations are over- or under-utilized?" and removes the need to physically check a room for occupation.

  • Employee comfort and convenience

"Are meeting rooms getting booked and not used, or are they reserved for too long?"

Registering room occupancy will help businesses optimize spaces for employees based on actual occupancy and minimize the time employees spend searching for available spaces while avoiding double bookings.

  • Cost savings

"Are all meeting rooms needed? Should investments be made in new co-working spaces?"

Placing wireless motion sensors in relevant locations will give real-time, up-to-date, and accurate data about the occupancy and use of those areas. With this information, an organization can repurpose or reduce space according to actual need.

DT Studio displaying room occupancy data
DT Studio displaying room occupancy data

Bottom Line

The wireless motion sensor from Disruptive Technologies is an easy-to-install device that complements and operates with other sensor types from our offering. Discrete and anonymous, it provides accurate, real-time information about space utilization in any office location, empowering managers to make informed decisions as part of workplace optimization initiatives.

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The Easy Way To Understand Occupancy

Effortlessly understand how office spaces are used. With data from wireless desk and motion sensors, you can analyze usage, optimize layouts, and design a productive, energy-efficient work environment.
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