Help! My pet sets off my motion sensors

02 May 2023

Motion sensors are very intelligent devices that have upgraded the lifestyles of many households. Today these technologies have become irreplaceable in advanced smart home interiors, they have, however, come a long way. Like many new technologies they encountered into some unexpected hurdles (in this case your pets).

Hidden pet peeve of motion sensors

Triggering the lighting or heating system by simply entering or leaving a room. It's a convenience that made us fall in love with smart sensors in the first place. However, when those sensors set off false alarms or unnecessarily waste energy because of your pets, we might have to reconsider that love at first sight.

The problem isn't our pets; it's the motion sensors not being sensitive enough. Because they are not able to separate one type of movement from another, it all trickles down to the fact that some smart sensors weren't smart enough YET. The unwanted aggravation and additional energy consumption that an active dog or cat can cause, quickly tempers the initial convenience.

The sensitivity of the motion sensor defines whether your automation system can make a distinction between human and pet.

Pet friendly motion detectors

The problem with motion sensors and pets was quickly picked by the home automation market, giving us the pet friendly motion detector. These smart sensors are programmed to only recognize movements if the source weighs above a certain amount of pounds. The weight limit generally varies from 30 pounds up to 80 pounds. Brands like Honeywell and KNX offer either hardwired or wireless pet friendly motion sensors.

These devices were a very easy, quick-fix solution for the initial pet problems. Too easy apparently, because the first imperfections of the new technology quickly started to show with small children and larger pets. The sensors sometimes could not recognize the difference between the two, resulting in a malfunctioning lighting system when a kid entered the room. Of course, if you don't have children, pet immune detectors are a replacement for your less receptive smart sensors.


Millimeter wave technology is the answer!

Thanks to 5G and IoT, we can now profit from millimeter wave technology and all its perks. The newest addition to the smart sensor family is able to make that crucial distinction between people and pets. It scans the room at high-resolution and decides, based on the algorithm, whether the movements fall into the triggering category. During this scan your device absorbs an immense amount of information with its high frequencies and high-speed Internet connection.

The smart thermostat of Ecobee is one of those rare sensors with millimeter wave technology. With a hardwired core you can rest a sure: this system will not defect easily. These highly-sensitive sensors are more than just temperature regulators. As they detect 'unexpected activity', they help you save energy, while also keeping track of your house security.

Turns out that some smart motions sensors are smarter than others. Yet, there seems to be a good alternative for every living situation and budget with pets. The case of the motion sensors is an excellent example of how smart tech constantly reinvents itself to better soothe our lifestyles.