People Tracking with the Toposens 3D Ultrasound Sensor

The 3D ultrasound sensor delivers reliable information about the quantity, position and path of people indoors and outdoors.


3D ultrasound people tracking


3D ultrasound sensor technology can be used to detect and track people. It enables seamless interaction with your surroundings or provides you with valuable analyzable data about people’ behavior. The 3D sensor is a passive system and does not require any action to be taken, such as giving your consent or using your smartphone. It is precise, robust and discrete.


Due to the use of ultrasound, the sensor can recognize moving and still persons. In the video below, you can have a look at our 3D ultrasound sensor tracking and counting people in a room.


People Tracking Applications


In general, the people tracking sensor can be used for counting people, presence detection, position and direction determination and detecting anomalies (e.g. falls). These abilities enable the sensor to be integrated into various environments, such as the ones mentioned below:


  • Retail Analytics


The applications in offline retail stores include counting people, tracking their path through the store and recognizing “hot” and “cold” areas, that is, where do people stay the longest or not at all. This information can be used to determine the effectiveness of advertisement in the retail shop, connecting customer behavior with revenues and external factors or to track overall development of the retail store.


In the bigger picture, such information can be bundled and used to determine the attractiveness of a whole area, e.g. in terms of suitability of a vicinity for new shops.


The sensor does not use any optical components and it can therefore not identify faces. It will thus encounter much less resistance than existing, optical systems (e.g. 3D cameras) because it does not interfere with privacy.


>> Find out more about Retail Analytics applications


  • Smart Home

The 3D ultrasound sensor can be connected with the heating, lighting and electronic devices in one’s home. The sensor can be installed on the ceiling similar to a fire detector. From there, it can detect the residents’ positions and turn the connected devices on and off accordingly.


The sensor can thus track people inside the apartment in order to facilitate everyday life by taking over basic functions, such as adjusting the heating or lighting. A very positive side effect is, that this function could be a great support for people with reduced mobility.


>> Find out more about Smart Home applications


  • Public transport

People counting is needed in public transport vehicles, such as trains and busses. Precise knowledge about passenger streams can help improve transport schedules, matching ticket fare income with actual usage of routes etc.


The Toposens ultrasound sensor can be used as a people counter in trains and busses when it is installed above the doors. For comprehensive coverage, the sensor can also be used throughout the vehicle. This can be interesting to detect exact positions of passengers, e.g. to offer them superior service in a train.


>> Find out more about Public transport applications



  • Building Automation

The sensor can be built into office and other buildings, in order to automate operations, such as turning off the light or heating, when no one is in the area. Further, the 3D sensor counts the exact number of people and can adjust the cooling of a room accordingly.


Connecting the sensor to the smartphone enables the sensor to be used as an alarm system. A notification can be sent, when a person enters an area, e.g. during a time where no one is supposed to be in the office. 


  • Monitoring Workers

The 3D ultrasound sensor can be used to determine the position of workers inside a factory. Even more, the sensor can also track their behavior at the workplace and be used to guide workers e.g. through work processes. The sensor sees precisely, where the worker reaches to and can thus determine whether he just conducted the right work step.


The recorded information can be used to optimize processes and help reduce idle time by reducing time spent on correcting mistakes.


  • Monitoring of dangerous areas (e.g. inside factories, around robots)

Another use of the Toposens 3D sensor inside the factory is monitoring areas of danger. Thus, the sensor is applied for presence detection and can give an alarm or stop a machine if a person enters a specifically marked area.


The scanned area can be adjusted to the individual need.


  • Ambient assisted living

People tracking with the ultrasound sensor can also be used to monitor people with limited mobility who are exposed to an increased level of risk inside their homes. The sensor is a non-intrusive way to send an alarm when abnormal events take place, such as falls, long periods of motionlessness etc.


Toposens can give elderly people the freedom to live independently and stay a member of the community for a longer time while not having the risk of suffering from undiscovered accidents. Existing alternatives need active participation or intrude into people’s privacy by constantly filming them. The 3D ultrasound sensor is thus the logical solution for ambient assisted living.


  • Smart City

As people’s homes become more and more connected and smart, so do cities. There is huge potential in equipping public places with 3D sensors for various reasons: saving energy, increasing safety, improving convenience etc.


The Toposens sensor is very robust and not susceptible towards harsh external conditions and therefore well suited for the long-term outdoor application. It can be used e.g. on street lamps to control street lighting and simultaneously check for free parking spots. Toposens can help homes, public and private buildings and cities become smart!


Advantages of 3D Ultrasound for People Tracking

There are some alternatives available on the market for people counting and tracking. However, Toposens can offer unique advantages over these existing systems due to the use of ultrasound technology:


  • Privacy protection & Discretion

The Toposens sensor offers maximum privacy protection due to the use of ultrasound. This technology makes it possible to precisely detect the number, position and direction of people without identifying their faces or any other sensitive information.


On the other hand, people will not be able to identify the people tracking sensor as such. The lack of optical components together with the small build size give the sensor a discrete appearance and ensure an undisturbed and secure experience.


  • Robustness

Blinding sunlight, rain, dust or dirt represent a big issue for existing people tracking sensors. Therefore, most people counters are intended for indoor use only.


Toposens can change this situation by providing a sensor that is not susceptible to such harsh external conditions. This enables the continuous analysis of e.g. passers-by in front of a store