A new implementation of the Grid-EYE thermal sensor from Panasonic Industry demonstrates the scope to perform sophisticated functions such as people counting and indoor pedestrian traffic management when the sensor is supported by the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
The Grid-EYE infrared array sensor is the first 64-pixel IR camera to be housed in a compact surface-mount package. Based on Panasonic MEMS technology, Grid-EYE combines a MEMS sensor chip, a digital ASIC with an I2C interface, and a silicon lens in an 11.6 mm x 8 mm x 4.3 mm package, around 70% smaller than competing products. The thermopile elements are in an 8 x 8 grid format which measures both temperature and temperature gradients contactlessly. These temperature outputs can be converted to a 64-pixel thermal image.
Now the Grid-EYE sensor has been integrated into an intelligent lighting control system developed by Summa Systems, based in The Netherlands. The Summa Systems technology is a data carrier and connectivity hub embedded in lighting equipment which enables lighting control and other functions for regulating indoor environments, including energy-saving and safety features.
The system has two key components: data and lighting.
An important part of the sensor data-driven Summa Systems technology is the Grid-EYE thermal array sensor, enhanced by AI. The sensor detects heat, and therefore human activity: it feeds the data back to the Summa Systems dashboard in the cloud. Multiple Grid-EYE sensors can be combined to cover any area.
The data about people in the controlled space can be used for various functions:
Because the Grid-EYE provides a deliberately low-resolution, 64-pixel image output, this monitoring of people’s usage of a space is inherently anonymized, and so avoids the risk of infringing users’ right to privacy.
‘The Panasonic heat grid array sensor is essential to the Summa Ambient Intelligence System,’ says Chento Didden, owner of Summa Systems. ‘The way we have enhanced and integrated the sensor into our system helps people to optimize the use of public space.’