Pressac Communications has launched a wireless, low-energy, under-desk sensor to detect occupancy and help companies use office space more efficiently. This new solution allows facilities managers to see live desk availability and collect usage data quickly and easily.

The under-desk passive infrared (PIR) sensor is a small, unobtrusive box that sticks to the underside of a desk and detects the presence of people. The sensors are wireless and use very little energy, making them easy to install and maintain. They can be used to support space optimisation planning, smart desk and meeting room booking and smart-building management based on occupancy monitoring.

Jamie Burbidge, digital solutions product manager at Pressac, says: “We’ve developed the sensor based on extensive customer feedback. We quickly learnt no two use-cases were the same and many alternative sensor options were too power hungry. With this in mind, we designed our under-desk sensor to be highly configurable using our remote commissioning tool and highly energy efficient so batteries should only need replacing every 5-10 years.

“As well as identifying underused or high-usage areas, enabling customers to manage people and space more efficiently, data collected from the sensors can also be used to reduce costs and improve energy efficiency with automated lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning based on occupancy.”

Sensor data is encrypted using AES-128 encryption and sent wirelessly to Pressac’s gateway. From there, live data can be made available using industry-standard formats such as MQTT, or published directly to cloud services such as IBM Watson IoT and Azure IoT Hub. Occupancy data can also feed directly into existing building management systems with protocols such as Modbus.

With a high-adhesive sticker to fix it in place and highly energy efficient batteries, the sensor is designed to be quick to install and extremely low maintenance. If preferred, users can choose an optional screw-mounting kit and a rechargeable USB-powered variant.