Find out how occupancy-adjusted radar sensors can help you reduce HVAC costs for meeting rooms — without invading workers’ privacy

by Brianna Crandall — January 7, 2019 — Ainstein, a provider of intelligent mmWave radar systems, will demo new building automation capabilities at the CES 2019 technology show this week (January 8-11) that will include automating meeting room utilization for Texas Instruments (TI) during the show. Last month, Ainstein announced a new antenna and board design included in TI’s new 60-GHz mmWave radar over-the-door sensors (ODS).

A new generation of smart sensors will dramatically improve utilization and functionality of commercial buildings as well as reduce operating costs with energy efficient solutions such as occupancy adjusted lighting and temperature controls. In the average commercial building, for example, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) consumes 39 percent of the energy budget. Smart sensors can reduce that spend by 18 percent, according to a recent report by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

Smart radar sensors in TI’s CES meeting rooms are integrated with Amazon’s Alexa to inform TI meeting staff whether a room is occupied, how many people are in a room, and where in the room they are located. When deployed in any building, an organization’s staff can better manage work space and meeting room utilization from a reception desk, central command station, or via employee calendars and communication networks. Because the sensors do not include cameras, there are no identification or privacy issues, points out Ainstein.

In yet another building automation use case, these sensors will count the number of people in a room and adjust lighting, HVAC and other systems accordingly to optimize comfort and functionality, while minimizing energy use and costs.

Ainstein will demo its solution at TI meeting rooms in the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) North Hall N117 during CES, January 8-11, 2019. Interested persons can schedule a meeting or demo at CES here.

In addition to CES, the solution is currently being piloted with the Bioscience and Technology Business Center (BTBC) at the University of Kansas.

LaVerne Epp, executive chairman of BTBC, remarked:

Ainstein has helped us dramatically improve the efficiency of our conference room management. As a shared working space, we have a lot of resident companies using our conference rooms without a shared calendar. It is always a challenge to know what room is booked or occupied. But now, we are aware of the occupancy status at all times remotely, which means no time and energy wasted walking up and down the stairs to find an open room. It is a perfect solution for shared workspaces like ours.

Andrew Boushie, vice president of Strategy and Partnerships at Ainstein, stated:

In addition to improved management of meeting space, these high-performance sensors create new opportunities to improve efficiency, as well as reduce costs and environmental impact. The 60-GHz frequency band provides the bandwidth needed for a higher level of precision and accuracy than was previously available.

The 60-GHz frequency band enables sensors to accurately determine the range, velocity and angle of objects in an area. Because it is not widely used in other building applications, there is little chance of signal interference.

For more information on the benefits of 60-GHz radar systems for building automation, and to get started building applications with the ODS evaluation module, visit the Ainstein Over-the-Door Sensor Virtual Demonstration page.

To download the Ainstein white paper, Improved People Counting for Building Automation – Better Management of Company, People and Assets with Radar Systems, visit the company’s website.

Founded in 2015, Lawrence, Kansas-based Ainstein improves safety and protects valuable assets through innovations in radar technology. The company offers complete customized solutions for autonomous drones, advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), autonomous vehicles, and industrial sensing — incorporating a combination of mmWave radar, sensor fusion and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.