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Adnoviv awarded $150K from the National Science Foundation to Develop Occupancy Sensor with Johnson Controls

11-20-2019 06:00 PM CET | Energy & Environment

Press release from: Adnoviv Inc.

Adnoviv, Inc. has been awarded an additional $150K from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop a battery-operated version of their TruePODS™ product, a low-cost sensor capable of real human presence detection and occupant monitoring. Johnson Controls, Inc. (JCI) is partnering with Adnoviv to develop the requirements for the battery-operated sensor, which will be easy to install, without requiring access to power-line drawings or power outlets. The NSF funding is a Technology Enhancement for Commercial Partnership (TECP) supplement to Adnoviv’s existing Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II grant of $750K.

Occupancy detection systems are used in smart buildings to improve energy efficiency by cycling lights, proactively adjusting ventilation and temperature, and providing data for energy management systems. Adnoviv is combining wireless communication circuitry with advanced algorithms developed by researchers at the University of Hawaii’s Department of Electrical Engineering, to make True Presence Occupancy Detection Sensors (TruePODS), a system that uses Doppler radar to recognize motion from breathing and heartbeat. TruePODS can sense the presence and number of individuals, even if they are very still, and without raising privacy concerns. Through using multiple sensor technologies, low-power circuit design, and advanced algorithms, Adnoviv will develop the TruePODS-LP, a battery-operated sensor with a multiple-year battery life.

“NSF is proud to support the technology of the future by thinking beyond incremental developments and funding the most creative, impactful ideas across all markets and areas of science and engineering,” said Andrea Belz, Division Director of the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at NSF. “With the support of our research funds, any deep technology startup or small business can guide basic science into meaningful solutions that address tremendous needs.”

“An accurate occupancy detection system like TruePODS will deliver the occupancy information required by smart buildings to greatly reduce energy consumption,” says Dr. Amy Droitcour, Adnoviv’s Chief Technology Officer. “This battery-operated version of TruePODS will make it easy and inexpensive to retrofit buildings currently outfitted with passive infrared occupancy sensors. When those are replaced with accurate TruePODS systems, they can realize considerable energy savings.”

“It is critical that occupancy sensing modules are battery operated for ease of installation, particularly for retrofit installation,” says Blaine Banks, Johnson Control’s Engineering Manager for Hawaii and Pacific. “Adnoviv’s occupancy sensing technology has the potential to make an impact in more efficient management of HVAC and lighting systems, as well as in building security.”

Adnoviv, Inc.
2800 Woodlawn Dr. STE 297
Honolulu, HI 96822

To contact Adnoviv, email:

About Adnoviv, Inc.: Adnoviv, Inc. is a research-driven technology company developing innovative sensors and systems for industrial, medical, and security applications. The centerpiece of Adnoviv’s product pipeline is the TruePODS™ line of high-performance occupancy detection systems for smart buildings and energy conservation. The Adnoviv team is comprised of world-renowned experts in non-invasive physiological sensors, experienced in engineering research and product development. Adnoviv is headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii. Visit for more information.

About Johnson Controls, Inc.: Johnson Controls is the global leader in building products and technology, integrated solutions, energy storage, and information-based retail solutions. Johnson Controls’ Metasys® Building Automation System is the foundation of modern building energy management efficiency. This intelligent, world-class technology system connects commercial HVAC, lighting, security and protection systems – enabling them to communicate on a single platform to deliver the building information, allowing smarter, savvier decisions while enhancing occupants’ comfort, safety and productivity. Visit for more information.

About the National Science Foundation's Small Business Programs: America’s Seed Fund powered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) awards nearly $200 million annually to startups and small businesses, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. Startups working across almost all areas of science and technology can receive up to $1.5 million in non-dilutive funds to support research and development (R&D), helping de-risk technology for commercial success. America’s Seed Fund is congressionally mandated through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $8 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. Visit for more information.

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