Wi-Fi sensors

Small, reliable Wi-Fi sensors with ethernet, Wi-Fi, and cellular backhaul that are easy to deploy

BlueZoo’s Wi-Fi sensors are small, low-cost, low-power devices, each with an integrated Wi-Fi radio that listens passively for Wi-Fi probes emitted spontaneously by mobile phones. The sensors can also be deployed as a firmware application on platforms with Wi-Fi radios. BlueZoo’s strategy is to deploy an increasingly larger share of our sensors as firmware running on platforms like media players, smoke detectors, security systems, smart doorbells, and HVAC controls.

Modular sensor

The BlueZoo modular sensor has flexible configuration options and communicates with BlueZoo cloud systems via ethernet, Wi-Fi backhaul, or cellular backhaul.

The sensor is powered via a micro-USB connector, which can itself be powered via a PoE (Power over Ethernet) splitter.

  • Dimensions: 2.2 in x 2.2 in x 0.9 in (55 x 55 x 33 mm)
  • Power: Micro-USB or PoE (802.3af)
  • Black enclosure
  • Fanless
BlueFox Wi-Fi Sensor

The sensor shown above contains an omni-directional antenna to detect probes from mobile phones.  The sensor shown at left contains two sub-miniature type-A reverse polarity (SMA-RP) connectors to allow external antennas to be connected either directly or via a coax cable.  SMA-RP is a common industry standard.

External antennas are useful for two purposes. When the sensor is mounted inside a metal enclosure (i.e. a Faraday cage) and the embedded antenna does not have adequate reception, an external antenna may be necessary.  External antennas can be higher gain omni-directional antennas or can be directional antennas, useful for restricting the target detection zone of the sensor.

Directional Antenna

Directional antennas allow sensors to detect people in smaller spaces, such as in front of a specific display in a store or in a corner of a restaurant.

These antennas typically define cone-shaped detection zones, commonly with a 90-degree arc.  Sensors with directional antennas are calibrated in the same manner that omni-directional antennas are calibrated:  distance, range-detection, or ground truth based calibration.

Ceiling-mount sensor

The BlueZoo ceiling-mount sensor enclosure integrates a BlueZoo modular sensor, a PoE splitter, and optionally either a directional antenna or a cellular modem.  The sensor communicates with BlueZoo cloud systems via ethernet, Wi-Fi, or cellular backhaul. Ethernet network interface cards and Wi-Fi radios are standard.

The enclosure can include a directional antenna that points straight down, suitable for venues with high ceilings, or a Vodafone cellular modem, suitable for venues without ethernet or Wi-Fi backhaul.

The enclosure is powered via PoE (Power over Ethernet), which is attractive for low-power devices because running ethernet cables is generally less expensive than running line-voltage wires with their attendant safety requirements.

  • Overall weight: 12 oz (including cellular modem or directional antenna)
  • Diameter: 8 in
  • Power: PoE (802.3af); consumes less than 5W
  • White enclosure
  • Fanless

Advantages of passive Wi-Fi sensors

Wi-Fi sensors are superior to optical sensors in many applications, including when a large area (up to 30,000 sq feet) must be measured, when obstructions prevent the practical use of optical sensors, or when more than a dozen people must be counted.

Because Wi-Fi- and ethernet-connected BlueZoo sensors are generally deployed behind firewalls, they are inaccessible from the internet. The BlueZoo sensors reach out to BlueZoo cloud servers over an encrypted channel to deliver data and to check for firmware updates.

BlueZoo puts a light load on backhaul connectivity, sending highly compressed data. The volume of data will vary with the number of mobile phones in the detection zone.

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People counter sensor