Introduction: Presence Detection to Reduce Power Consumption & Save Energy

About: Develop & edit curriculum content for robotics. I like physics and any applications (electronics one) applied on it. have a knowlege in : Arm_Cortex STM32 -IoT-Arduino- Lego mindstorms projects- Robot…

Presence detection happens to be one of the hottest trends in town. Though a majority of us have an idea about automated door controls. Remember, while walking through the Airport main gate or exiting a mall, the door automatically opens up as the subject (you) comes closer. And as soon as you step out, it closes back.

Earlier when somebody had to explain about presence detection, the above appeared to be the best explanation. And why not? It eliminates the need to hire a dedicated person who would open and shut the door, every time someone passes. Like why spend extra on a task when we can automate it for better output, right?

While all of this is pretty enticing, the implementation of presence detection isn't limited to just door controls. Recently, there has been a new introduction rather than innovation with respect to the idea of presence detection. The proposed solution is so designed that it can detect the presence of a person sitting in front of a PC or a laptop. As soon as the person moves away from the screen, it goes in a stand by mode, saving power and electricity consumption.

In simple terms, the PC is put in a power-saving mode and would be restored only when the user is back at the desk, working on the same. Though there was a concept called screen saver earlier, it had to be manually configured and required touching to wake up the screen. Quite the contrary, the modern-day sensors are equipped with latest tools and technologies that automate the entire process. Whether it is about putting the device to sleep or regaining its power, ever think is automated and executed instantly.

Step 1: Why Do You Need a Presence Detection Software in Offices or for PCs

Often, it so happens that while working, we leave our desk and walk away to say a meeting or to attend a call or maybe anything. Under such a situation, the computer screen is idle and the only thing it does is consume power and energy. Now, imagine a big office space with 50+ computers on a single floor. As the clock strikes 2, everyone walks out for a meal break. Even if they are away for say, one hour, the device would have consumed a pretty good amount of power without adding to productivity.

This is nothing but the overhead to the company and accounts for power wastage. If the same situation is repeated for years one cannot imagine the extent of power used and wasted. Presence detection happens to be the smart solution for this problem.

Step 2: ​How Does Presence Detection Work?

In layman's term, the presence detection software is hidden behind the screen. As soon as the person working on the device leaves, the screen is locked and sent to a power-saving mode. When the person returns back to the desk, he isn't required to touch the device. All he needs to do is look straight into the camera, opt for Iris recognition and continue working on his device.

The devices are so designed that they can skillfully differentiate between a human and a non-human object say chair. Technically speaking, a time of flight sensor is used to determine the time gap between the incident light and the reflected wave. What happens here is that the camera placed is used to send an incident light and illuminate the object. Upon receiving the same, the light is then reflected back and captured by the sensor. Based on the time taken by the wave to return, the depth is estimated and actions are taken.

Using such a mechanism in offices has proven to save a tremendous amount of energy and power. Also, the fact that the concept of Iris recognition is used, nobody except the ideal user can log into the system. As so it appears, the inception of presence detection along with Iris recognition turns the infrastructure secure. Since the device is auto-locked as soon as the user walks away, nobody can pry on the data stored.

And the implementation of Iris Recognition further eliminates any and every possibility of identity breach. In addition to the above two, such technology also extends the battery life of the system.

Where proximity sensors do provide a significant solution, the Time of flight sensors are more efficient and renders accurate results. The fact that it is totally reliable and low in cost, there has been a steady acceptance rate among industries and organizations, alike.