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I have a customer that would like to have a display that detects when a human walks up to a screen (distance like from a standard terminal) that sensor then needs to trigger a display of some data.

existing conditions:

  • wifi is present
  • high metal environment (construction hall)
  • medium to cheap price range

What kind of sensors should I look at?

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    There are floor mats that can detect when somebody stands on them. These mats use velostat which changes resistance under pressure. – Romen Mar 10 at 21:37
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    You might also try passive infrared sensors (PIR), which are less reliable than a mat, but require no contact and are not raised above floor level, e.g., amazon.com/Onyehn-Pyroelectric-Infrared-Detector-Modules/dp/… – DrMoishe Pippik Mar 11 at 2:54
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    How accurate can it be? Do you allow false positives? What's your budget? – Jan Dorniak Mar 11 at 6:53
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    false positives are allowed but should not have alot of it. Budget is under discussion – Jester Mar 12 at 10:23
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I would start with a pressure sensitive floor mat which gives a switch closure when someone steps on the mat, or an infrared sensor which senses a person by reflection from an infrared LED. The latter does work on folks wearing black, BTW. Either would be monitored by an Arduino controller which, when presence is selected, provides power to the monitor through a relay.

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