Hawaii Patent of the Month – December 2021

Have you ever been in the office, working away at your computer and the lights shut off? Occupancy sensors often rely on motion and fail to track the presence of sedentary people. This leads to HVAC systems or light systems to switch off despite their being occupants in the room. Then you have to awkwardly stand up and wave your arms around to make your presence known. As a result, many employers disable the occupancy detection systems or set them to very long delay times – making the energy savings minimal. Some systems use RADAR-based sensors, but these are known to be power-hungry, making them impractical for daily use. Adnoviv, Inc. has designed a smarter sensor which can better detect occupants without requiring excessive power.

Adnoviv are experts in developing innovative sensors for applications just like these. Recently, they have developed a dual mode sensor to more practically, and accurately, detect occupancy. With this system, the power consumption is reduced. In order to ensure the system could detect occupants, even when sitting still, their sensor uses both a RADAR and infrared sensor. Each of these are connected to a processor which receives information. The infrared sensor detects movement in the room. After a predetermined time threshold passes, where the sensor detects no movement, it triggers the RADAR sensor to perform a secondary check. The RADAR sensor then tries to detect the presence of a person in the room. Depending on what this sensor returns, the system can either shut the lights/HVAC off or keep them on. 

This allows the system to rely largely on infrared sensors, which require lower power to remain active. RADAR sensors are only activated when needed, thereby reducing the power it requires. Combined, Adnoviv has created a simple, elegant, low-cost occupancy sensor with greater accuracy and energy efficiency.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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