What is a Presence / Occupancy Sensor?

Update 20/4/2023: We've launched the FP2 Presence Sensor!

Motion sensors are one of the most valuable additions to a smart home, especially in terms of automations. When motion is detected, turn ON the lights in the room! Conversely, when no motion is detected, turn the lights off.

While we love our motion sensors, there’s one big drawback – motion sensors detect motion. This means the second automation above only works in an area with high traffic; that is, people are moving in the room, such as a kitchen. If you’re thinking of creating an automation to turn off the air-conditioner when nobody’s in the living room, a motion sensor isn’t that useful anymore, because a person staying still in a room (watching Netflix, for example) will trigger a No-Motion status to your smart home. It’ll turn off the air-con, and you’ll soon be watching, all hot and sweaty.

There never really was any way about it, but that has changed with the appearance in the market of Human Presence Sensors, or Occupancy sensors. Unlike motion sensors which detect motion, presence sensors use other technologies to detect if somebody is in the room, regardless of whether they’re moving.

How does a presence sensor work?

The technology nowadays generally depend on mmWave technology. MmWave is short for millimeter-wave, and is basically based on radar technology – sending out signals and looking for reflections.

How would it benefit a smart home?

Besides the obvious applications as mentioned before, such as ensuring that OFF triggers do not accidentally trigger when you’re not moving, presence sensors also offer other benefits. Presence sensors will be able to map out your room, and separate them out into zones, meaning you could have different automation triggers based on different parts of the room. Some presence sensors are also able to map out if a person in the room is standing, sitting, or lying down. Based on these principles, sensors may also be able to detect falls.

Does Homesmart.sg have a human presence sensor?

Yes! The Homesmart.sg Aqara Presence Sensor FP2 is now available! With this new addition to our arsenal of smart home sensors, you’ll be able to have better control and of your smart home automations.

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