Brave Sensors

Overdose Detection for Public Bathrooms

A reverse-motion sensor system that passively monitors public bathrooms and washrooms for signs of overdose and other emergencies. Brave Sensors are designed for:

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    Community & acute care centers
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    Overdose prevention sites & supervised consumption spaces
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    Social & psychological service centers
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    Civic spaces like libraries, transit hubs & city parks
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    Gas stations, liquor stores, retail stores & shopping malls
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    Coffee shops, restaurants, fast food locations, bars & nightclubs
Order Brave Sensors
A single Brave sensor installed inside a public bathroom, plus an example of a duration alert sent to the onsite responder

Why Overdose Detection Sensors?

Public bathrooms and washrooms are a hotspot for substance use. When unmonitored, there is a high risk of overdose occurring on premises.  

Brave Sensors prevent fatal overdoses from happening in public bathrooms by detecting occupancy, absence of movement, or depressed breathing.

See Brave Sensors at Work
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    Take comfort knowing that if somebody is overdosing on the other side of your washroom door, you’ll instantly be alerted.
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    Keep guests and facilities safe while respecting everyone’s privacy.
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    Save an average of $18 for every dollar you invest in Brave Sensors.*

*Impactable X (October 2021), Brave Social Impact Report

How Brave Sensors Work

  1. When someone enters the bathroom or washroom, the door sensor activates the system.
  2. The door sensor sends a signal to the ceiling sensor letting it know that someone is in the bathroom.
  3. The ceiling sensor begins monitoring for movement and timing how long the person has occupied the space.
  4. The system will send an alert to the designated responder. Alerts are sent under two circumstances:

    • If a person has been still, while in the space, for a specific amount of time (e.g. 60 seconds)
    • After a person has spent a certain amount of time (e.g. 12 minutes) in the space.
  5. The responder receives an instant notification with details about the alert directing them to check the area.
A Brave sensor system installed inside a public bathroom with a close up of the door sensor and the ceiling sensor

The Brave Sensors Overdose Detection System operates using three basic components: Sensing, Analysis & Alerting.



Radar sensors for the door and ceiling have ultra-fine sensitivity that can perceive and differentiate macro and micro movements.



Brave’s servers analyse the raw data from the ceiling and door sensors to determine whether or not to generate an alert.



Text alerts are sent to designated responders via a dedicated cell phone that you designate. Escalation and fall-back responders are notified in the event of non-response.

Give Frontline Workers Peace of Mind

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Jackie Forman
CEO at Company

“This app is evidence that there are innovative and respectful ways to keep the people that we love safe while using drugs.”

E. Loska

“Why isn’t this everywhere? This needs to be everywhere.”

John Howard Society

“This app is amazing, if for no other reason because it saves lives. But also because it promotes community members to be involved in supporting their own community by meeting people where they're at!”

E. Styles

Remote Implementation Support

Brave provides remote setup support to help you get your Brave Sensors up and running once they arrive.

Here’s a general idea of implementation steps.

Phase 1

Step 1. Planning (8-16 hours)

Map building.
Range test all hardware.
Identify installation points, and connectivity and electricity needs.
Three people working together to make a map of where Brave tools will be installed in their building
Phase 2

Step 2. Setup (4-20 hours)

Set up all hardware. You may need an electrician to install the ceiling sensor. Brave does not provide this service.
Connect system.
Go live.
An electrician installing the ceiling sensor component of the Brave Sensors system
Phase 3

Step 3. Testing & Monitoring (up to 3 days)

Brave’s engineering team will perform extensive testing during the first few days after go-live to ensure your system is running reliably.
A woman who has successfully installed and tested Brave Sensors in her facilities

Overdose Detection at a Price You Can Afford

Brave Sensors are available at an affordable price to make overdose detection accessible to everyone.

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    $500 per unit per year
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    $2,000 set-up & configuration per building

Need to Calculate Costs for Your Building?

This simple calculator will help you factor how much it will cost to install Brave Overdose Detection tools in your buildings.


There’s a one-time $2,000 set-up and configuration fee for each system installation.

How many buildings will you install Brave tools in?

Each building typically requires a separate installation, with two exceptions: 

  • Multiple buildings can share an installation fee if both (or all) buildings have a single Responder Phone. 
  • If a single building is home to multiple programs (like a drop-in center on the first floors and supportive living on the second floor), and both programs have their own designated responders, they will each need a separate installation.


Brave Buttons cost $100 per button per year.

How many rooms do you want to place buttons in?

People typically include all bedrooms or private quarters.

How many common areas do you want to place buttons in?

Count each area where people congregate, like kitchens, living rooms, waiting rooms, etc.


Brave Sensors cost $500 per button per year.

How many shared-access bathrooms do you want to install sensors in?

Brave Sensors are designed for single-stall bathrooms. They can work in multi-stall bathrooms with ceiling-to-floor partitions between each stall. In this case, count each stall.




per year**



one time set-up fee

*These totals are estimates based on the information you provided. 
**Brave licenses its tools for 3-year subscriptions. 

If you have questions about pricing, or have a unique situation or space, you can connect with us through our website chat or email us at

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Prevent Fatal Overdoses in Your Bathrooms

Frequently Asked Questions

The radar covers a space of 3 x 3 meters (15 x 15 feet), but can be adjusted to measure a smaller portion of that space.

It takes less than 5 seconds for the system to detect an incident, determine an alert is needed, send the alert, and for that alert to be received by the responder device.

The Brave Sensor is designed to be integrated into existing washroom safety protocols. You must have a designated responder to receive the alert on the Responder Phone, physically check on the bathroom indicated in the alert, and confirm the status afterward using the Responder Phone.

A secondary phone number (usually a manager, but can be anyone) is used as a fallback number if the designated responder doesn't respond. In the event an alert is not responded to in a timely manner, this fallback number will receive a text with the details about the alert that was not responded to.

Currently our alerts all come as SMS messages. In the future we anticipate additional formats such as email or notifications within an app for phones and computers.

Hardening and reinforcing the devices has been integrated into the design and setup process, but hasn’t yet been fully stress-tested.

In terms of setup, we recommend the sensor is positioned out of reach and eyeline (preferably on the ceiling).

In terms of design, we continue to improve the security elements of the entire system. You will always receive the latest iteration. We have also intentionally kept the design plain and neutral so the sensor blends into most spaces.

“False alarm” is a phrase people often use to refer to an alert that was sent where there was nobody in a medical emergency or other crisis. A couple of notes on that:

  • The Brave Sensor is designed to reduce the risk of overdose specifically by sending alerts when a situation has elements that represent an increased risk of overdose, such as a long period of time elapsing, or a lack of movement.
  • While we work hard to increase the accuracy of the system, we are also cautious: in the drive to reduce false positives (alerts), we never want to reduce alerts so much that we would miss medical distress (a false negative–no alert when there should have been one because, for example, we weren’t very confident that an overdose was occurring).

Simply put: an alert to check on a washroom is not a “false alarm” if there is no crisis, the system is performing as intended.

A real false alarm is when the system tells you to check on the washroom and there is not, nor was there at the time the alert was generated, anyone present in the washroom. This should only happen as a result of someone having left the washroom between the moment the alert was triggered and the time the responding person arrived. However, this may also depend on thresholds and our algorithms to a certain extent, and we work hard to reduce these. (e.g. if you close the washroom door as you leave it, and a fly is buzzing around inside the washroom, our system should not start monitoring the space as if there was a human in there.)

The number of alerts can be reduced through:

  • Threshold calibration: by adjusting the thresholds to the norms within a specific space, we reduce perceived false alarms.
  • Radar sensors: we chose this form of sensor over others because its sensitivity provides better data and allows our system to make better decisions.
  • Robust algorithms: our ability to continually learn and adjust our algorithms enables all of our clients to benefit from each others’ experience.

The radar in The Sensor System uses Doppler radar operating at a range of 7-8 Ghz.

It contains a motion sensor that is able to detect large movement (walking), small movement (scrolling on your phone with your fingers) and can distinguish periodic micro movements (chest movements from respiration) in order to infer a breathing rate. In addition, there are door sensors keeping track of when the door is opened and when it’s closed.

However, we should note that while Sensor is capable of detecting breathing rate, we no longer use that functionality to determine if an alert should be sent out. The reason for this is that we discovered that stillness was a far quicker and more reliable indicator of overdose risk than chest movement.

The door Sensor is installed on the door frame and the door. The radar Sensor can either be placed on the ceiling or high on the wall.

Privacy and anonymity are among our top priorities. We specifically incorporated a radar Sensor into our design to detect movement and presence in a privacy-sensitive manner. Data from the radar Sensor cannot be used to generate a point cloud of the bathroom occupant, unlike other types of motion sensors. The Brave Sensor System does not include any cameras or microphones, and we do not collect any personally identifying information.

The door Sensor and ceiling Sensor work together. The door Sensor detects when someone enters the space and activitates the ceiling Sensor so it can begin monitoring motion.

If you are using an existing plug point to power the Sensor, you will generally not require an electrician. Having an electrician install the Sensor and complete the wiring so that it is not exposed will make your system more robust against tampering.

Lost, stolen or destroyed hardware will need to be replaced at the current replacement cost. Replacement fees as of August 2022 are $40 for door sensors and $600 for ceiling sensors.

The Sensor can be installed in multi-stall bathroom settings, but it is currently only able to work in bathrooms with floor to ceiling partitions.

Sensors can be used in rooms with showers, but shower curtains and doors interfere with the Sensor's detection of movement. Because of this, it is a more challenging space to work with than a Sensor in a bathroom without a shower.

We can send alerts to anything that can send/receive text messages. So if the tablet is hooked up the phone number designated for the Responder Phone, it might work. A landline will NOT work. If the computer is hooked up to a phone line (like VoIP) then it might work, as long as text messages can be both sent and received from the computer. Email will NOT work. An existing security system is NOT likely to work.

Alerts are generally sent to a singular designated responder device. If there is no response from the responder device, the backup phone number will be notified, and there can be multiple backup numbers that this secondary alert goes to, such as multiple managers.

No, the alert messages cannot be customized at this time.

Brave does not install The Sensor System. You will need an electrician to install the ceiling Sensor.

No. You will need to provide the Responder Phone that alerts are sent to. You can use any phone for this as long as it can receive SMS texts.

The Sensor System comes with its own cellular internet connection.

No. The Sensor System comes with its own cellular internet connection.

The current wait time is at least 8 weeks, which might be longer or shorter depending on the size of your order.

We require some information (address, phone number to send alerts to, etc) in order to set up your units, and sync your system with our servers - the sooner we have that information, the sooner we can send your Sensors out to you.

We’re not a fan of hidden costs and do our best to be transparent and upfront about them. There are certain things you must provide for the system to work (a responder device, etc). You will incur those costs if you don't already have those things in place.

The system needs to be plugged into an electrical outlet. Most clients opt to connect it directly through the ceiling and hire an electrician at their own cost to do this work. We've seen clients pay between $300 and $800 for this service.

We're working on a battery-powered Sensor so that this won't be necessary, which will hopefully be ready sometime in 2023, but possibly sooner.

The yearly fee is a subscription fee for the device and supporting service. It covers regular over-the-air improvements, internet and text messages, new features, updates and bug fixes, as well as support and maintenance.

The initial fee covers remote installation support, setup and configuration of the system, and initial testing to ensure the system is functioning properly.

The Brave Sensor System is available on a 3-year subscription on the following terms (subject to change):

Sensors are provided as a subscription service at $500 per year, per Sensor. The annual fee covers continual security updates, software improvements, and tech support.

There is a one-time set up fee of $2,000 for each building where sensors will be installed.

e.g. if you wanted 5 Sensors in your building, you would pay $2,000 as a setup fee, and $2,500 per year for the 5 Sensors.

Don’t see the answer to your question? Ask our team through the chat box in the bottom right corner of this page.