A Passive System for Quantifying Indoor Space Utilization
Originally presented at the 37th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA 2017), this report discusses the development of a prototype for anonymously collecting empirical data on room occupancy and circulation patterns for indoor environments. The report is the initial phase of a larger proposal to develop a design methodology that can supplement manual and subjective methods of evaluating or verifying various interior design decisions.
The device prototype in the study used a low-resolution thermal imaging sensor to anonymously capture the heat signatures of human figures within interior environments. After processing the heat signature data with rudimentary blob detection and filter algorithms, researchers could visualize how occupants positioned themselves and moved through the interior spaces.
The advantage of using the device, as opposed to tagging participants, is that it is passively scalable to interior spaces and the number of people within them. It also respects occupant privacy. In addition to quantitatively investigating spatial usage patterns, the device can be used to validate the analysis of thermal zones, and measure social properties of interior environments. It is intended to be a human-centered design strategy and tool.