Blog Post

Theben's thePixa KNX optical presence detector

Published on 06 May 2022 learn


Theben's ‘thePixa’ is a KNX optical presence detector that detects how many people are in a room and where they are. This information is used to trigger predefined actions in the building control system and it's not just building automation features that stand to gain. 

For decades, presence detectors with passive infrared (PIR) technology have controlled the lighting and indoor climate of many rooms in a sustainable and energy-efficient manner. They detect people accurately and reliably based on their body heat and movements. The pixel-based detection technology of ‘thePixa’ KNX optical presence detector opens many more applications with enhanced value, extending well beyond the scope of PIR presence detectors.




thePixa image analysis

Using image analysis, thePixa identifies changes that arise in rooms and processes the associated information. ‘thePixa’ can detect how many moving objects are within the detection area and count them. The grid function displays a view of the data provided by ‘thePixa’. The image of the room shown does not represent a live recording, it’s a static background image. ‘thePixa’ uses low-resolution images and fully complies with privacy requirements. 

The detection result is visually processed in the form of a heat map and can be called up together with detailed occupancy statistics in thePixa Plug app. This information triggers a predefined action in the KNX building control system, such as starting up the ventilation system in a fully occupied meeting room.

The visualisation of detected areas by means of the heat map offers building operators a great deal of added value. Product presentations in department stores can be optimised by identifying which products customers stop to look at most often and show the greatest interest in. Valuable information can also be obtained in office facilities: by identifying which workstations are used more or less often, it is possible to access advantages such as efficient desk-sharing management. This allows for a flexible response to peak workloads and can help to reduce building operating and energy costs. 


Using thePixa Plug App, the detection area can be divided into up to 6 zones and freely programmed to record how many people are in the room and also where they are. The precise subdivision of the detection area, with dimensions up to 11 x 15.5 m, enables accurate lighting control in larger rooms and prevents false switching operations. 

thePixa eliminates the high installation costs often incurred after conversion or room restructuring and makes it easy to create new zones within the detection area in the App. It is also possible to set up exclusion zones in which detected movements do not trigger any actions at all, for example in production facilities. The settings programmed in the app are simply transferred from a smartphone or tablet to thePixa via Bluetooth. 

This functionality opens up completely new applications for planners, architects, shop owners and system integrators. For flexible desk-sharing models to come into play, the optimization of room occupancy succeeds when predefined actions in the building automation are triggered correctly. 

How thePixa could be used in retail stores

How to mount and install thePixa


More information

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