COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) for a prolonged period. Spread happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air and land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. The droplets can also be inhaled into the lungs. Recent studies indicate that people who are infected but do not have symptoms likely also play a role in the spread of COVID-19. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay at least 6 feet away from others when possible, even if you—or they—do not have any symptoms. Social distancing is especially important for people who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

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Companies seeking to develop smart building, people counting, crowd monitoring, industrial safety and other applications can use the WAYV Air for near real-time decision-making and signal processing.

These new sensors give technology integrators, product designers and managers the ability to tap new markets and applications for more precise and efficient operations.

The WAYV Air is one of the first new applications of the 60 GHz radio frequency (RF) mmWave band, which historically has been utilized primarily for military applications.

The Problems with Current Tech

People counting is a relatively mature application, which can be done using several different technologies, the most common of which include video computer vision, infrared, thermal imaging and Wi-Fi. A critical concern many organizations have with video-based people counting solutions, which often prevents them from deploying, is privacy.

While video-based technologies offer accuracy and efficiency, they come with the inherent downside of privacy and safety concerns due to the availability of personally-identifiable information for specific individuals.

Wi-Fi solutions do not offer an accurate count of every individual in a given space; rather, an approximation based on those who are carrying a smartphone connected to the Wi-Fi network. Statistical methods are then applied to come to a reasonably good estimate as to the number of people moving in and through a space. Thus, counts from Wi-Fi-based people counters are estimates rather than true counts. Additionally, these technologies are more limited in their ability to map movements of people in a space. Infrared imaging and thermal imaging are both used for people counting, too. They provide adequate accuracy, but installation and operating costs for both tend to be quite high.

These systems both require large amounts of power and run constantly, which results in high operating costs for continuous monitoring. Radar-based people counting, on the other hand, can save on power costs by triggering counting functions only when an object (a person, in this case) is detected.

People Counting

People and crowd monitoring solutions are ideal for large offices, conference centres/convention centres, police departments, entertainment arenas and more.

The WAYV Air can be used to monitor whether a meeting room is occupied, and accurately counting the number of people in that room. Take a large office building with many different meeting or conference rooms for example. Traditionally, management of the use of these rooms is through some sort of calendar system. Such a system
assumes that the room is used continuously, for the entirety of the time it’s booked for. However, it’s not uncommon for a meeting room to be reserved, but because of a lastminute change, to have the space go unused. On the calendar, the meeting room still appears as in use, but with a radar-based counting solution the office manager could see that the space in fact is not currently being used, and allocate the meeting room to another group that does need it.

Multiple WAYV Air units can placed in varying locations and connected using a single bus. Data from each WAYV Air unit can be transferred to a central location to perform further actions.

For example, in the conference room use case:
• Three WAYV Air modules are placed in three different conference rooms.
• The WAYV Air modules can detect if the conference rooms are occupied.
• The data are processed on individual WAYV Air modules, then transferred via I2C to a Wi-Fi enabled microcontroller.
• The microcontroller can then be connected to Amazon’s Alexa, which can tell the user if a particular conference room is free.

Introducing the WAYV Air

WAYV Air is based on radar sensing technology and features a compact form factor, low cost and power consumption. It’s the ideal sensing module for detecting and tracking people in indoor environments.

WAYV Air is ideal for:

  • Occupancy Detection
  • People Counting
  • People Tracking

Applications include:

  • Lighting Control
  • Surveillance & Security
  • Space Utilization
  • Emergency Response
  • HVAC Control
  • Home Health Monitoring
  • Retail Management

Technical Specifications

The patch antennas are designed to be small enough to fit in this spacing and give enough room for the routing.

Designing the module to fit in the limited real estate and the required performance metrics requires special consideration. One of the main goals of the WAYV Air
module is to achieve equal resolution in azimuth and elevation planes. Hence, this requires placement of the transmit and receive antennas in distinctive locations which creates a virtual antenna array with an equal number of antennas in both planes. To achieve a ±90° unambiguous field of view (FOV), the spacing between the four receive antennas was designed to be half wavelength, while the three transmit antennas are separated by a wavelength. This results in a 4×2 grid in both the elevation and azimuth planes.

The patch antennas are designed to be small enough to fit in this spacing and give enough room for the routing. To adhere to the half wavelength spacing for the receive
antennas, RX1 and RX4 antennas had to be flipped by 180°. Designing the patch antenna with this in mind ensures that flipping of the antennas would not cause significant performance variance between each of the four receive antennas.

Another challenge that arises from this placement is the routing, as all four receive antennas and all three transmit antennas had to be length matched, respectively. At
mmWave frequencies, long traces with significant curves can degrade the performance of the antennas. As the routing of RX1 and RX4 is quite different from RX2 and
RX3, precautions must be taken to ensure the gain and phase are not notably different between each element.

Technical Specifications

Operating Frequency 60.3 ~ 63.6 GHz
Swept Frequency 3.3 GHz
Azimuth Angle 120 Degree
Elevation Angle 120 Degree
Detection Range Maximum 6m for People Detection
Data Refresh Rate 50ms
Machine Power <5W
Machine Size 76.8mm*70.3mm*25.4mm (without cable and bracket)
Weight Radar 84g, bracket + screw 64g
IP Rate N/A
Voltage Input 5v ~ 15V for RS-485 version, 5V Max for USB
Operational Temperature Range -20 ° C ~ 50 ° C


Mechanical Drawing

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