In 2018, Texas Instruments (TI) offered its new 60GHz chipset. Ainstein was one of the first few companies to design an evaluation module (EVM) utilizing TI’s 60GHz over the door sensor (ODS). In Ainstein’s case, the ODS EVM incorporates radar systems technology using the 60GHz frequency.
In January 2019, Ainstein gave the first public live demonstrations of its ODS EVM at the annual tech mecca, Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
At CES, Ainstein showcased how the technology can be used for, among other things, monitoring and managing meeting space in an office environment. The live demo was used for Texas Instruments’ team to manage meetings they were taking with partners at the convention hall during CES.
Prior to the live demos at CES, in 2018 Ainstein successfully completed its first pilot project demonstrating effectiveness of the 60GHz ODS EVM. This pilot was carried out with the University of Kansas’s Bioscience and Technology Business Center (BTBC). BTBC is a high-tech office park that houses multiple tech companies with their own private offices, but shared, common conference rooms.
Use of these common conference rooms can become unwieldy to manage – even with a professional office manager – and so the BTBC decided to try out a user-friendly pilot implementation of the ODS. Sometimes people reserve a conference room on a calendar but end up not needing the space because of a last-minute change – but the calendar doesn’t get updated, leading to unused conference rooms. Other times, people may hold an impromptu meeting in a conference room they haven’t reserved, stepping in to one to discuss confidential business. These are the types of situations that a radar-based people counting system helps to address.
The pilot enabled the BTBC facilities managers to know the real-time occupancy status of any conference room equipped with the technology by simply speaking. By connecting the 60GHz ODS EVM to Internet-enabled microcontrollers, the whole system can be monitored and controlled by voice command, using Amazon’s Alexa.
Below is a video demonstration of the 60GHz ODS EVM in action at the BTBC, helping an office manager determine if a meeting room is currently occupied. Ainstein’s 60GHz.