2013 R&D 100 Winner
NREL IPOSToday, lighting represents the single largest source electric load in U.S. commercial buildings, amounting to 38% of total electricity. Occupancy detection can help reduce consumption by controlling lighting automatically. National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s low-cost Image-Processing Occupancy Sensor (IPOS) detectors offer an improvement on traditional motion-sensing technology by detecting and assessing human occupancy or vacancy in an area to localize and optimize lighting, daylighting and HVAC. Unlike traditional infrared (IR) or ultrasonic occupancy sensors, which infer occupancy based only on motion, the compact IPOS uses a small camera sensor integrated with a high-speed embedded microprocessor to deliver digital image-based monitoring. It not only detects occupancy, it detects the luminance properties of monitored space. Whereas traditional technologies require a motion sensor in each monitored space, IPOS can capture images of larger areas and can replace several traditional occupancy sensors by segmenting the images into up to 16 virtual zones. IPOS can improve occupancy-detection accuracy by more than 20%, leading to large energy savings.

Occupancy sensor

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Development Team

National Renewable Energy Laboratoy Image-Processing Occupancy Sensor (IPOS) development team.


The Image-Processing Occupancy Sensor (IPOS) Development Team from National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Luigi Gentile Polese, Principal Developer
Larry Brackney
Alex Swindler